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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-03-16
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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. 50/09 14-16.03.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Britain is reportedly in action to help Turkey overcome December 2009 without any losesUnder the title Britain in action, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (16.03.09) reports that while the intensive diplomacy between Britain and Turkey for Turkey to overcome the Ankara Protocol in the end of 2009 without loses, Cyprus and the future of the breakaway regime in the occupied part of the island is coming onto the agenda. The paper refers to sources which said that the meetings between the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries and other bureaucrats in Brussels are an effort by Britain for Turkey to overcome the process without loses. The sources said Britain advices Turkey to be flexible on the Cyprus problem until the end of 2009.
Britain, which considers that the solution process is advancing slowly, expects important steps to be taken on the Cyprus problem, reports the paper adding that Britain is actively working for an EU representative to be appointed together with Mr Alexander Downer at the Cyprus talks and wants the leaders to announce to the public an initial agreement in April 2009. According to the sources, the reason for which Britain is undertaking an active role is the fact that it wants Turkey to join the EU, contrary to the wishes of France and Germany. The paper notes that the official stance of the Turkish side is that the isolations of the Turkish Cypriots should be lifted before Turkey opens its ports to the Republic of Cyprus. The paper concludes as follows:
Britain and Sweden are seriously searching for a method in order for the chapters relevant to the membership to open in case Turkey does not do this [open its ports and airports]. The best way for this is to be able to say the negotiations in Cyprus continue, there is hope for solution, let us not upset the talks that are going well. For this reason Britain wants Turkey to be positive when the solution process is proceeding. Therefore, Britain wants the negotiations to go well and to be given a chance to pass lightly over December 2009, when the Ankara Protocol will come onto the agenda.
 Meeting in secrecy between the EU Troika and the Turkish Minister of DefenseAnkara Anatolia news agency (13.3.09) reported the following from Prague:
Turkey's defense minister attended the European Union (EU) Defense Ministers' Troika meeting held in the Czech capital of Prague on Friday.
Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul represented Turkey at the meeting chaired by Czech Defense Minister Vlasta Parkanova and Javier Solana, EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
The gathering was closed to the press and no official statements were delivered afterwards. During today's meeting, participants decided to strengthen the cooperation between EU, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and United Nations (UN) regarding military operations in defense and crisis regions, Czech officials said. Turkish Minister Gonul is expected to depart from Prague for Turkey on Saturday.
 Talat met with the Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan in IstanbulAnkara Anatolia news agency (14.03.09) reports the following from Istanbul:
The Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a meeting with the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat in Istanbul on Saturday. The closed-door meeting at Sutluce Congress and Culture Center lasted for 40 minutes.
Turkish Cypriot daily Start Kibris newspaper (15.03.09) reports on the same issue under the title Five-topic meeting and, invoking sources, writes that the following five topics were taken up during the meeting between Talat and Erdogan which lasted for about forty minutes:
The latest point of the Cyprus negotiations.
The Greek Cypriot views under the property chapter which is put in the disagreement basket.
Talats statement that a unitary state is not possible was evaluated.
The position of the EU on the elections in the occupied areas.
The developments as regards the Kibris media group.
The paper also writes that after the meeting Mr Talat was asked by the journalists about the agenda of the meeting, and he stated: We discussed everything. We discussed all the matters. The Turkish Cypriot leader returned to the occupied areas of Cyprus on Saturday.
 Avci met with GulIllegal Bayrak television (14.03.02) broadcast the following:
Foreign Minister Turgay Avci was received by Turkish President Abdullah Gul yesterday afternoon.
Although the meeting between the two men was held behind closed doors, Foreign Minister Avci informed the press that his meeting with the President had been very fruitful.
According to a statement released by the Foreign Ministrys Press Office, Foreign Minister Avci conveyed the Turkish Cypriot peoples gratitude to President Abdullah Gul and Turkeys support to the Turkish Cypriot people.
Foreign Minister Avci updated President Gul on the latest phase reached on the Cyprus issue, and exchanged views on how Turkey could help the Turkish Cypriot people overcome the problems being experienced in Cyprus.
 Talat attended meetings of the settlers from Gaziantep and the Alevites living in the occupied areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.03.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has called on the Alevites to act, work and walk together with them during the days when the feelings of peace, friendship and brotherhood which are the basis of the Turkish Cypriot and Turkish culture are further developed. Mr Talat participated and addressed a ball in occupied Keryneia on the occasion of the 14th anniversary from the establishment of the Association for Research and Promotion of the Haci Bektas Veli Culture in the occupied areas of Cyprus.
Mr Talat said that at the same time he participated in the opening of the Association for the Culture and Solidarity of the people from Gaziantep, Turkey, and described this development as a development of being part of the Turkish Cypriot culture. Necdet Sarac, one of the founders of the European Alevite Unions Confederation and director of YOL TV, and Ozan Ceyhun, German of Turkish origin former Member of the European Parliament were among the participants in the ceremony.
 Besiktepeli says the population in the occupied north part of Cyprus exceeds 500 thousands, while the Turkish Cypriots are only 80 thousandTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (16.03.09) reports that Zeki Besiktepeli, candidate with the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the Jasmine movement in the occupied Keryneia, has said that per capita income in the occupied areas of Cyprus is $4 thousand and not $15 thousand.
Soyer says that per capita income is $15 thousand, but he does not say over which population this calculation is made. The active population in our country is over 500 thousands and when the per capita income is divided by 500 thousand, it decreases to 4 thousand dollars. This is a national income at the level of the African countries, noted Mr Besiktepeli in statements during a television program. He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriots were 120 thousands in 1974 and that today their number decreased to 80 thousands. In spite of this, the population in the occupied north part of Cyprus exceeds 500 thousands, he said noting that the number of the Turkish Cypriot voters in the forthcoming elections is around 65 thousands.
Mr Besiktepeli said:
The Turkish Cypriots have been turned into minority in their own country against the population transferred from Turkey contrary to the Geneva Convention. The Turkish Cypriot community is experiencing an annihilation process. It is impossible for us to achieve economic development without stopping this annihilation process and without planning our population. He pointed out that the proprietorship structure in the occupied part of Cyprus is one of the most important problems and added: The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) described Northern Cyprus as subordinate administration of Turkey. As it is clearly seen in the convictions against Turkey in the Aresti, Loizidou and Orams cases, investments and development are not possible in a structure which is contrary to the international law. The BKP rejects the arrangements made regarding the properties in Northern Cyprus and considers that reminding this to everybody is beneficial. The one fourth of the Turkish Cypriot refugees from the south took nothing in return of the property they left in the south and they hold in their hands five billion equal property value points. In spite of this, the properties of the Greek Cypriots are being given away to foreign capital circles and are being distributed to the population carried from Turkey.
 A Turkish Cypriot living in London will file a lawsuit at the ECJ regarding the elections for the European ParliamentWriting in his column From London in Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.03.09) under the title We must file a lawsuit against the European parliament and hold elections, Mehmet S. Bayramoglu reports that he is about to complete his preparations for filing a lawsuit at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) against the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament (EP).
Mr Bayramoglu alleges that the rights of the Turkish Cypriots for participating in the elections for the European Parliament and electing two Turkish Cypriot MEPs are being usurped by the Greek Cypriots and that the actual cheater is the EU itself.
He says that their action plan is to apply to the ECJ and secure a decision to prevent the elections to be held in the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus in June. At the same time they will make a law in harmony with the EU at the assembly of the breakaway regime and hold elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus on 6 June 2009, simultaneously with the elections in the government-controlled areas.
He alleges: Even if we lose or win the case, this is a big success for us, because the dispute we will create will cause enormous discomfort in the EU and both the EU and the world will think once again if the pseudo Republic of Cyprus is really pseudo.
 Statements by Turkish Cypriot member of the Working Group on property regarding the EVKAF foundationTurkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (16.03.09) reports that Serden Hoca, member of the Working Group on the property issue has said the following in statements to illegal Bayrak television:
If the old owner of the property will have the first say, what will happen with the 270 donum properties of EVKAF foundation which were plundered between 1900 and 1948 and were expropriated? We also want our properties.
He accused the Greek Cypriot side of trying to pass over the matter lightly and alleged that EVKAF is the real owner of the plundered property. This issue is on the table. We will discuss it. We will present the proprietorship. An impartial international organizations will sit and decide, he argued.
 A person has been arrested by the so-called police for illegal entry into the occupied areas of Cyprus.Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (14.03.09) wrote that a 42-year-old person with the initials (Y.E) who lives in North Cyprus has been arrested last night by the so-called police after he tried to enter illegally into the occupied areas of Cyprus passing through a First degree military zone near the Ledra street crossing point.
 Criticizing General Galip Mendi the reason for the assassination of Kutlu AdaliTodays Zaman (16.03.09) reports the following under the title Journalist killed after criticizing Gen. Galip Mendi, his wife says:
Ilkay Adali, the wife of a prominent journalist assassinated in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), said her husband was killed after criticizing a member of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK).
Kutlu Adali was assassinated in the KKTC in July 1996.
Adali's wife's remarks followed recent statements of Freedom and Solidarity Party (ODP) deputy Ufuk Uras, who said if light can be shed on the assassination of Adali, the KKTC branch of Ergenekon, a shadowy crime network that has alleged links within the state and is suspected of plotting to topple the government, may be exposed.
Kocaeli Garrison Commander Lt. Gen. Galip Mendi, who paid a visit last year to two suspects in the Ergenekon case, retired generals Sener Eruygur and Hursit Tolon, is involved in the assassination of Kutlu, according his wife. Mendi, who was the head of the civilian defense organization in the KKTC at that time, was criticized in Kutlu's articles published in the Yeniduzen daily over charges that a car belonging to the civilian defense organization was used in the robbery of St. Barnabas Museum on March 14, 1996, which is known as the "St. Barnabas raid." Kutlu was shot to death in front of his home after he wrote the articles criticizing Mendi.
"When my husband said the St. Barnabas raid was linked to the civilian defense organization directorate in his columns, he began to receive threats and was killed a short while later. Mendi was the head of this institution back then," she said.
In 2005 the European Court of Human Rights decided that the investigation following the murder was inadequate and fined Turkey 95,000 euros, including 20,000 euros in damages for his widow.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Hurriyet Daily News.com draws parallel between the efforts of Erdogan to silence the Dogan Media Group and the efforts in occupied Cyprus to silence Kibris Media GroupIstanbul Hurriyet Daily News.com (15.03.09) published the following column by Yusuf Kanli under the title Like mother like daughter:
Idioms are great. Often with few words a very complex situation can be presented, thanks to idioms and sayings. "Look at the mother before marrying the daughter," a Turkish saying goes. More or less it means the "Like mother, like daughter" saying in English. Nowadays we have a perfect example proving how correct that saying indeed is.
The tactics applied by the ruling Justice and Development Party, or AKP, government to silence its critics can be collected in several thick volumes. The AKP and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan have run out of tolerance totally. Assuming that a farmer who criticized the premier several years ago during a visit to Mersin might boo the premier again, the police, at orders of some officious local administrators, confined that farmer to house arrest when Erdogan traveled to Mersin. Though there is still confusion whether they were trying to protect the farmer from the premier or the premier from the farmer, it was sad for the Turkish democracy to experience such practices if there is freedom of expression in this country and if "equality of all in front of law" is a valid norm.
There are lots of such "exceptional" and "individual" cases in the land of the "last sultan." But what might be more dangerous than such actions is the unfortunate reality that we are accustomed to such developments and have started to ignore them.
Similarly, the attempts of the AKP and Prime Minister Erdogan to silence the Dogan group and create from this country a rose garden without thorns have become routine. While the lofty 826.3 million Turkish Liras, or $490 million tax fine imposed on the Dogan Media Group, or DMG, on grounds of being eight days late in reporting its books sale of some shares of the group's Dogan TV to the German Axel Springer was a shock for everyone, the decision of the Finance Ministry to reject the collateral shown by Dogan was treated as "was expected anyhow." Why, because it has become clear for everyone that the finance ministry, acting on orders of the premier and his government, was "not after eating grapes, but to beat the vigneron." Speculations are abundant in Ankara regarding the intentions of Erdogan and his party. "Dogan first, Koc (group) second" some claim. Why might Erdogan and his party have such absurd exterminatory approaches?
Daughter is no different
Anyhow, this is the current reality in the "motherland" Turkey. What about the "daughterland" northern Cyprus? While the "mother" is heading to local elections, the "daughter" is heading to parliamentary elections which apparently have existential importance for both President Mehmet Ali Talat, the senior partner of the ruling coalition Republican Turks' Party, or CTP, as well as the Cyprus peace talks. Public opinion polls indicate that CTP is heading to a humiliating defeat while conservative National Unity Party, or UBP, will make a comeback with either a one-party government or as majority partner of a coalition.
Talat, Prime Minister Ferdi Sabit Soyer and the CTP are obsessed with the probability of losing power, frustrated with the criticism and apparently decided to follow the example in the motherland: Silence the critics!
On Thursday, the Turkish Cypriot Finance Ministry forgot that in October 2008 it presented a certificate of appreciation to Asil Nadir's Kibris Media Group as one of the highest tax payers in northern Cyprus and clamped a 9 million lira fine based on an ex officio tax calculation based on the 2003 to 2007 records in the books of the company. Furthermore, the ministry first gave the company until the end of office hours Thursday to pay the tax fine, later "agreed" to give the group time until yesterday afternoon.
The Turkish Cypriot finance minister appeared in front of cameras Thursday midnight and claimed that his ministry's move was not politically motivated while the opposition parties rallied support behind the Kibris Media Group and charged the CTP-led coalition government of trying to stifle a critical media group ahead of the April parliamentary polls.
It was odd. How this situation will end cannot be estimated from now. But, there is yet another saying in Turkish, "Fear is no remedy to death!"
 From the Turkish Press of 13,14 and 15 March 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 13, 14 and 15 March 2009:
a) Gul's visit to Tehran
Assessing President Gul's visit to Tehran in an article in Milliyet (13.03.09), Fikret Bila believes that he did not convey a message from US President Obama to the Iranian officials. Dismissing speculations that Gul even hinted at the possibility that Turkey might act as a go-between between Washington and Tehran, Bila refers to the remarks made by Gul in Tehran that the former US Administration might have made certain mistakes, adding that Ahmadinezhad's response indicates that Tehran is not ready to establish direct contact with the United States.
In Milliyet (13.03.09) columnist Sami Kohen, in an article, disagrees with those who view Gul's visit as the beginning of Turkey's role as a go-between or a facilitator between Washington and Tehran. Pointing out that Tehran is against indirect contacts, Kohen believes that a direct approach such as a US invitation to Iran to participate in the Afghan conference being considered might be a good opportunity for a rapprochement between the United States and Iran.
Viewing Gul's visit to Tehran and Ahmadinezhad's remarks that there is no need for a go-between in an article in Referans (13.03.09), Cengiz Candar says that this might be interpreted as a slap on Turkey's face. Questioning whether Ahmadinezhad really made those remarks, Candar adds that what the Iranian president really said was: "If there is justice and respect, there is no need for a go-between." Pointing out to the nuances between these two remarks, Candar goes on to note that Gul did not go to Tehran with a message from the United States, adding that he went there to explain Turkey's point of view.
In an article in Taraf (13.03.09), Amberin Zaman argues that the dangers concerning the Iranian front pointed out by Turkey are shared by certain high ranking Iranian officials even if these concerns are not voiced out loud. The constructive role Iran might be shouldering in Iraq and Afghanistan might help melt the ice between Washington and Tehran, claims Zaman, adding that, however, so long as Iran does not make concessions from its nuclear program these efforts are destined not to bear fruit. Zaman goes on to view the meeting Gul held with Azerbaijani President Aliyev in Tehran and how this meeting might affect relations with Armenia.
In an article in Radikal (13.03.09), Akif Beki explains the foreign policy priorities of the Obama Administration, saying that they are to rebuild what the Bush Administration has destroyed and to establish a dialogue with everyone without any preconditions. The Obama administration is incapable of convincing Iran and Syria without the help of Turkey, maintains Beki, pointing out that this is the reason why Turkey has been included in the first round of the Obama visits. Referring to the remarks made by the US ambassador that his country wants Gul to convey to his Iranian counterparts that the United States is sincere in its intentions, Beki maintains that Ahmadinezhad has left both Obama's and Gul's extended hands hanging in the air by announcing that it there is no need for a go-between.
In Radikal (13.03.09) columnist Murat Yetkin writes that the Obama Administration wants to try the path of dialogue with countries with which the international community has security issues. Assessing this as a new approach, Yetkin quotes a Turkish Foreign Ministry official on the issue of Turkey's role as a go-between between the United States and Iran: "Turkey cannot act as a go-between on a problem that regards Iran, because most of the problems concern Turkey as well. Moreover, Iran is our neighbor. Turkish diplomacy is not so inexperienced as not to be able to see this. What we are trying to do is to enable the sides to better understand one another and to facilitate the solution of the regional problems through dialogue."
In an article entitled "US contact with Iran and Syria", in Zaman (13.03.09) columnist Mehmet Yilmaz cites recent visits to Syria by US officials like John Kerry, Jeffrey Feltman, and Dan Shapiro as an indication that Washington has already taken steps to establish dialog with Damascus in line with Obama's remarks in his inaugural address expressing his willingness to "extend a hand if you unclench your fists." He claims that Syrian President Bashar al-Asad's call for the United States to mediate in the Syrian-Israeli dispute shows that a rapprochement is being forged between Washington and Damascus. Yilmaz also asserts that the United States' new "dialog-centered strategy" could drastically change the current balances in the Middle East for the better.
b) Obama's visit to Turkey
Viewing US President Barack Obama's forthcoming visit to Turkey in an article in Milliyet (14.03.09), Semih Idiz declares that the visit will take place not "because of Davos" as claimed by some. Nor will it take place "despite Davos," argues Idiz, adding: "It will take place as a result of certain 'adjustments' Ankara made in the aftermath of Davos." Otherwise, no US president would have visited a Turkey that chooses to be the protector of HAMAS, which Washington describes as a terrorist organization, writes Idiz, adding that neither would he have visited a Turkey that has burnt its bridges with Israel. Agreeing with the assessment made by Ahmet Davutoglu, chief adviser to the prime minister, that "Obama's foreign policy needs overlap with Turkey's potential" and that "Turkish-US relations will enter one of their best periods in history," Idiz adds that, however, this potential is linked to Turkey's certain fundamental characteristics, namely secularism and democracy. For Turkey to grow and take its rightful place in the international arena, it has to continue on this line and to complete its integration with the Western system through the EU process, maintains Idiz. He goes on to remind the government that it was not the Justice and Development Party, AKP, which "created the conditions that rendered Turkey important both in its region and in the international arena." Also reminding the government that the Davos outburst has nothing to do with the current realities, Idiz advises the government not to sacrifice to "populism" Turkey's potential to play an important regional and global role.
In an article in Taraf (14.03.09), Onder Aytac and Ander Uslu underline symbolic significance of the expected Obama visit from the viewpoint of repairing the bilateral relations that were damaged during the Bush Administration. Obama is beginning at the right time, at the right venue, and with the right people, claim the writers, adding that the entire Muslim world will be watching Obama in Turkey. If the US president makes good use of this opportunity and enables the "closed fists" of the Muslim world to open and shake the US hand, this will be a positive step for world peace and will bring Turkey to the foreground, argue Aytac and Uslu. Noting that the analysis the Brookings Institute and the Jamestown Foundation have been making on Turkey has played a role in Obama's choice of Istanbul as the venue to address the Muslim world, Aytac and Uslu argue that the messages Obama will be conveying in Turkey will exceed the country's borders and will be an indication of Turkey's global effectiveness.
c) On Turkeys veto to Frances NATO return
Assessing France's decision to return to NATO's military wing in an article in Milliyet (14.03.09), Sami Kohen states that this decision shows Sarkozy's efforts to enable France to play a global role and his intention to establish a "transatlantic solidarity" together with the United States. In response to the argument of his opponents that by joining NATO's military wing France will lose its ability to act independently, Sarkozy has chosen to show Turkey and its stand during the Iraq war as an example, writes Kohen. Viewing Turkey's approach to the issue, the writer declares that Ankara is "in favor of a strong NATO" and believes in "the benefit of France, with its military capability and its political weight, 'taking its full place' within the alliance." Referring to rumors that Turkey will oppose France's return to NATO's military wing or that it will make this an issue for bargaining because of the stand France has adopted toward Turkey's EU accession, Kohen stresses that it is highly unlikely for Turkey to use its veto power on the issue. In conclusion, Kohen declares that vetoing France's return will not be in Turkey interests and stresses the importance of not instigating the public on the issue.