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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-03-18

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 <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH PRESS AND OTHER MEDIA No. 52/09 18.03.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The 23rd meeting was held yesterday between Christofias and Talat. Statements by Talat: We are seeking a solution with UN parameters
  • [02] Cypriot leaders attended signing ceremony for economic and commercial cooperation between the two communities
  • [03] A delegation of the Turkish Cypriot community met with Caroline Flint and Joan Ryan and asked for Mr Talat to be officially invited to Britain
  • [04] The UBP is reportedly planning to give the citizenship of the breakaway regime to 50.000 persons in case it wins the elections
  • [05] Flights from Italy to the occupied areas of Cyprus will start on 14 May
  • [06] Avci said 17 settlers from Turkey have been included in the candidates of the ORP because they want to embrace everybody
  • [07] BOTAS is working for laying down the pipe lines to carry natural gas to the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] Ulusoy rejects the appointment to the occupied areas of Cyprus and retires
  • [09] More than 3.000 Turkish Cypriots were treated in the General Hospital of Nicosia in the government-controlled areas of the Republic during the last five months
  • [10] The breakaway regime has been represented in sports activities aboard
  • [11] Davutoglu in Washington for talks ahead of Obamas visit to Turkey
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 March 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The 23rd meeting was held yesterday between Christofias and Talat. Statements by Talat: We are seeking a solution with UN parameters

    Illegal Bayrak television (17.03.09) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias resumed talks today on EU matters, the third topic of the talks launched in September.

    Todays meeting which included an hour and a half long routine tete-a-tete meeting between the two leaders lasted for three hours.

    The UN Special Representative Taye Brook Zerihoun announced at the end of the meeting that the two leaders will continue to take up EU matters when they meet again next Tuesday.

    Speaking to reporters upon his return to the Presidential Palace, Talat described todays meeting as productive and said that a clearer picture would emerge on the issue in the coming days following work carried out by technical experts.

    Pointing out that there were many technical aspects to the issue of EU matters, the President said that they had agreed to leave the details to the technical and legal experts. We on the other hand will continue to try and iron out existing differences he added.

    The President also announced that both sides will be presenting their positions at next weeks meeting.

    Replying to a question on whether progress had been achieved on EU matters, the President said that there were convergences in some areas but refrained from going into any details. We havent discussed any details but instead focused on general issues. We have left the details to the experts said the President.

    Explaining that all matters concerning the EU were on the table, President Talat said that a clearer picture would emerge in the coming days. My expectation is that there wont be too many differences remaining at the end of the process he said.

    Commenting on Greek Cypriot press reports claiming that the Turkish Cypriot Sides proposals on power sharing and governance supported the creation of a confederation, the President refuted the claims.

    Our positions are clear. We are committed to the agreements reached. We are seeking a solution within UN parameters. We want a bi-communal, bi-zonal, federal settlement on the basis of two constituent states with political equality. This is known as a federation, not a confederation he stressed.

    The UN Special Representative in Cyprus Taye-Brooke Zerihoun told reporters at the end of the meeting that the two leaders would continue to take up EU matters when they meet next Tuesday on the 24th.

    Responding to a question, the UN official said that the leaders could decide to suspend discussions on the chapter and allow the experts to work to narrow the gap between the positions of the two sides.

    He also noted that senior aides of the leaders Ozdil Nami and Yiorgos Yakovou as well as the technical experts will meet in the week to prepare the ground for Tuesdays meeting between the two leaders.

    [02] Cypriot leaders attended signing ceremony for economic and commercial cooperation between the two communities

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (17.03.09) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders attended on Tuesday the signing ceremony of a UN sponsored project to develop economic and commercial cooperation between the two communities of the Cyprus island.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat said the project should be considered as the beginning of the settlement of the Cyprus dispute as the genuine solution of the problem hinged on economic success.The Economic and Commercial Cooperation Project for Our Common Future is sponsored by the UN Development Program and it aims at strengthening economic dependency between the two communities of the island.

    The project was co-launched by Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and the Greek Cypriot Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

    The two chambers issued a statement following the signing ceremony. The statement called on the Cypriot leaders to continue efforts for a comprehensive solution in the island and reach an agreement in the shortest time possible.The statement further said that a just and permanent solution would turn Cyprus into an island of affluence in the European Union and would make Cyprus a crucial financial center that could be reached from neighboring countries.A solution in Cyprus would positively affect Turkish-Greek relations and result in a positive political and economic atmosphere in Eastern Mediterranean, the statement also said.

    [03] A delegation of the Turkish Cypriot community met with Caroline Flint and Joan Ryan and asked for Mr Talat to be officially invited to Britain

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (18.03.09) reports that a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot community met yesterday for one and a half hours with the British Minister for European Affairs, Caroline Flint and the MP, Mrs Joan Ryan. The paper writes that Mrs Flint reiterated the continuous support of Britain to reaching peace on the island.

    The representatives of the Turkish Cypriots brought onto the agenda of the meeting issues such as the embargoes, the education and the non-recognition of the illegal universities of the occupied areas in Europe, the rights of the women, the military service, the representation of the Turkish Cypriots at the European Parliament, the visas, the Orams case and the referendum. They also asked Mrs Flint and Mrs Ryan when Mr Talat will be officially invited to Britain. Mrs Flint said they conveyed this invitation to the Prime Ministers Office and they have not received a negative response.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] The UBP is reportedly planning to give the citizenship of the breakaway regime to 50.000 persons in case it wins the elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.03.09) reports that important names are saying that the National Unity Party (UBP) is planning to give the citizenship of the breakaway regime to 50.000 persons in case it wins the forthcoming elections on 19 April. Thus, argues the paper, the UBP will guarantee the presidential elections to be held after one year and the following elections. The paper wonders if this is true and if there are concrete data to prove these allegations. It claims that the concrete data is UBPs Election Report, where absolutely no reference is made to the issue of the citizenship. Why do you think a party remains silent on an issue on which it is being criticized the most and during a period when many names among those who are arrested have proved to have the TRNC identity card?, wonders the paper.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Flights from Italy to the occupied areas of Cyprus will start on 14 May

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (18.03.09) reports that Erdogan Sanlidag, self-styled minister of economy and tourism, signed yesterday a protocol with Mare Sole Tourism Best Choice Travel for organizing 22 chartered flights between Italy and the occupied areas of Cyprus. The flights will be organized between 14 May 2009 and 24 July 2010. The target is to bring 440 tourists to the occupied areas every week and 6000 tourists every year.

    The director of Mare Sole Tourism, Hanefi Ayar said that they have agreed with the Dimansiyona Company in Italy and added that the flights will start on 14 May. He noted that the above-mentioned company agreed with the Kaya Artemis Hotel in the occupied areas and that 440 persons from Italy will visit the occupied part of Cyprus every week.

    In his statements, Mr Sanlidag said that the tourism in the occupied areas of Cyprus is expanding and growing stronger every passing day and added that 1163 tourists from Italy spent the night at the hotels in the occupied areas during 2008. He noted that the importance of the work of his ministry is understood better when the fact that 20% of these tourists came from the free areas of Cyprus is taken into consideration.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Avci said 17 settlers from Turkey have been included in the candidates of the ORP because they want to embrace everybody

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.03.09) publishes an interview with Turgay Avci, self-styled minister of foreign affairs and chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP). Mr Avci said his party supports the process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat. Commenting on the statement made by Dervis Eroglu, leader of the National Unity Party (UBP) that he will send his minister of foreign affairs to participate in the Turkish Cypriot delegation that carries out the Cyprus talks, Mr Avci noted: Is there a Minister of Foreign Affairs with Christofias? As ministry and as a party we are doing our duty.

    He argued that the openings made during the last 28 months were not made during the last 30 years. He added: Where has Serdar Denktas gone during his office as minister? Which country has Mr Ergolu visited in his 30-year long political life? The government is following an extremely successful policy on the issue of the openings abroad.

    Responding to a question on the fact that 17 settlers from Turkey have been included in the candidates of the ORP for the forthcoming elections, Mr Avci said that they have not exerted an effort especially on this issue and they are open to everybody. He noted: We have eight women candidates. We are a party which participates in the elections for the first time. Our average age is 45. And 17 of our candidates are our brothers from Turkey. We tried to embrace everybody, all sections. Referring to the role of the AKP, he said that the ORPs relations with the ruling party in Turkey are good and they do not hide this. He reminded the conflict in the past between AKP officials on the one hand and Mr Serdar Denktas and Mr Dervis Eroglu on the other.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] BOTAS is working for laying down the pipe lines to carry natural gas to the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.03.09) reports that BOTAS Company, the Turkish state company which carries out almost the entire natural gas imports in Turkey, is working for laying down the pipe lines to carry natural gas to the occupied areas of Cyprus (to occupied Karpass peninsula) from Turkey (Silifle area). BOTAS has completed its preliminary study for building pine lines within the framework of the plan for meeting the natural gas and water needs of the occupied areas of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Ulusoy rejects the appointment to the occupied areas of Cyprus and retires

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.03.09) reports that Mehmet Akif Ulusoy, former chairman of the Income Tax Department in Turkey, who has been appointed by the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan to the post of financial advisor at the so-called embassy of Turkey to the occupied part of Nicosia, did not accept this appointment and decided to retire. The paper notes that the occupied areas are seen as position for bureaucrats who are put onto the shelf. Mr Ulusoy was removed from his post and appointed to the occupied areas when his telephone conversation with Soner Gedik, vice president of Dogan Publications Holding, regarding the tax fine imposed by the Ministry of Finance, was revealed.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] More than 3.000 Turkish Cypriots were treated in the General Hospital of Nicosia in the government-controlled areas of the Republic during the last five months

    Under the title The patients to the South, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.03.09) reports that during the past five months more than 3.000 Turkish Cypriots were treated in the General Hospital of Nicosia in the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The paper notes that in order to manage to be examined by a doctor in the hospitals in the occupied part of Cyprus, the patients should wait in the queue to take a number from 05.00 o clock in the morning.

    After the examination, they cannot find medicines, reports the paper adding that in the period between October 2008 and January 2009 3.010 Turkish Cypriots were treated in the General Hospital of Nicosia in the free areas of the island.

    The chairwoman of the Aid Association to the Patients with Cancer, Raziye Kocaismail told Kibris that 99% of the patients with cancer visit the free areas of the Republic for radiotherapy. Dr. Sait Kenan, chief of staff at Life Hospital in the occupied areas of Cyprus, said that especially the incidents in the fields of cardiology and oncology are transferred to the government-controlled areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] The breakaway regime has been represented in sports activities aboard

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (18.03.09) reports that the national youth under 21 football team of the breakaway regime has participated in the Ala Too Tournament which took place in the city of Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan. According to the paper, the team of the illegal regime ended third in its group.

    Turkish Cypriot Kibrisli newspaper (18.03.09) reports that the North Cyprus TURKCELL wheelchair basketball team has participated in Group D in the Euroleague Cup organized by the International Wheelchair Basketball Federation (IWBF) in Sardinia, Italy between 13 15 March 2009. TURKCELL team has played matches with teams coming from Spain, Israel and Russia.

    (I/Ts.)

    [11] Davutoglu in Washington for talks ahead of Obamas visit to Turkey

    Todays Zaman newspaper (18.03.09) reports the following:

    Ahmet Davutoglu, the chief foreign policy advisor of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has arrived in the US capital for talks with administration officials and members of Congress, the Anatolia news agency said yesterday in a report filed from Washington.

    The purpose of Davutoglu's visit is to discuss bilateral relations between the two NATO allies ahead of a planned visit to Turkey by US President Barack Obama in early April, the agency said, noting that the top advisor would also participate in private meetings at some Washington-based think tanks.

    Before returning Turkey, Davutoglu will travel to New Jersey, where he will deliver a speech on Turkey's foreign policy at Princeton University, the agency said.

    During a visit last October to Washington where he had talks with the aides of then-Democratic candidate for US president, Obama, and also his Republican opponent, Senator John McCain, Davutoglu had warned the future US administration against endorsing Armenian claims of genocide at the hands of the Ottoman Empire, saying this could hurt a recent thawing of Turkish-Armenian relations and torpedo ties with the United States.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 17 March 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 17 March 2009:

    a) Local elections: In an article entitled "Post-Kemalism period in CHP [Republican People's Party]," Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol points out that the upcoming local elections on 29 March will serve as a litmus test for the new strategy devised by CHP leadership. He notes that the CHP's new overtures to conservative voters with strong religious tendencies will be vindicated if it polls higher than its national average in Istanbul.

    In an article entitled "Pro-MHP voters hold the key and two major cities," Vatan columnist Okay Gonensin says that the AKP's candidates for the mayor of Istanbul and Ankara may lose the election if pro-MHP voters decide to support the CHP's candidates taking into consideration that MHP candidates trail AKP and CHP candidates in opinion polls.

    In an article entitled "The felicity Party's position", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven asserts on the basis of his soundings among voters in various provinces across the country that the Felicity Party, SP, is set win enough votes to rank in the first third in at least ten provinces in the local elections, that it can win the municipal elections in a number of provinces, and that it is certain to show a striking performance in many districts and smaller administrative divisions. He claims that new SP leader Numan Kurtulmus has brought new "excitement" to the party and that the turnout at his rallies during his "tour of the east" heralds "a new gust of wind if not a storm" in politics.

    Under the headline, "Census bureaus deadlocked," Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that the Supreme Election Board's announcement two weeks before the local elections that only citizens with national identification numbers of their ID cards will be eligible to vote in the elections has led to a crisis, with voters going in droves to census bureaus to obtain new ID cards.

    Under the banner headline, "Em Saadete'e Dixazin [Kurdish for 'We want felicity']," Milli Gazete runs a front-page report which asserts that public response to SP leader Numan Kurtulmus' election rallies in the southeastern provinces of Agri, Van, Bingol, Mus, Adiyaman, and Sanliurfa has established that people living in this region want to "coexist peacefully and happily with their Muslim brothers without anybody interfering with their faith, language or culture."

    b) Ergenekon case: In an article entitled "Military to be called to account in Ergenekon," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Mehmet Ali Birand says that the second indictment issued in the Ergenekon case has made accusations brought against the defendants more credible because retired Admiral Ozden Ornek's diaries which constituted the basis for the charges were included in the indictment. He says: "Now the direction and content of this case is different. In public the Ergenekon case has become serious."

    A report entitled "'[former Chief of the General staff Ismail Hakki] Karadayi caused us to delay our plan" in Milliyet cites passages from alleged conversations between some military officials, including then Chief of the Gendarmerie General Sener Eruygur, one of the defendants in the Ergenekon case, and a group of journalists, including Cumhuriyet columnist Mustafa Balbay who was recently detained for the second time in connection with the Ergenekon case. According to the report, the police discovered deleted files containing notes about those conversations in Balbay's computer. It notes that the full text of the conversations, mainly focusing on the need to take action against the Justice and Development Party, AKP, is featured in Tempo24, a web site.

    A report entitled "Public prosecutor relies on government" in Cumhuriyet quotes Vural Savas, honorary chief justice of the Supreme Court of Appeals, as accusing the public prosecutors conducting the Ergenekon case of breaching the law in order to please the ruling party because of their fears that they could face disciplinary action if the Minister of Justice permits an investigation to be conducted against them. Savas also stresses that Balbay should not face charges simply because he kept documents which he received from bureaucrats who are loyal to the Constitution and concerned about the political situation in Turkey.

    Under the headline, "Their aim is to obstruct the trial," Yeni Safak publishes a front-page report which quotes Senkal Atasagun, former undersecretary of the National Intelligence Organization, MIT, as saying that the purpose of the attempt to start legal proceedings against him over allegations that he used the organizational chart of Ergenekon that the MIT drew up in 2002 as a means of discrediting the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, is to obstruct the Ergenekon investigation.

    Under the banner headline, "Balbay's journals: Conversations rife with treason, conspiracy, intrigue," Vakit carries a front-page which provides highlights from Cumhuriyet columnist Mustafa Balbay's "journals" that recently "caused his arrest" as part of the Ergenekon probe. According to the report, the journals include "coup plans" and compromising conversations between Balbay and retired generals Sener Eruygur, Erdal Sener, and Yasar Buyukanit.

    In an article entitled "If talk about 'Unrest among young officers' was provocation", Zaman columnist Bulent Korucu comments on Salim Dervisoglu's characterization of warnings of unrest among the lower echelons of the Turkish military sounded by certain newspapers in 2003 as an act of provocation. Korucu cites the Cumhuriyet daily and its columnist Mustafa Balbay as the "provocateur" responsible for such allegations and lauds Dervisoglu's remark as one that "unmasks" civilian "collaborationists" who want the military to intervene in politics.

    c) Kurdish question: In an article entitled "You will probably guess that I will oppose it," Hurriyet columnist Ertugrul Ozkok writes about a recent article of Radikal columnist Cengiz Candar who said that three US officials met with three Kurdish officials in order to discuss a plan aimed at convincing the PKK to lay down arms. Pointing out that the Turkish government effectively encouraged other countries to act as a mediator to resolve the Kurdish question as a result of its efforts to include the HAMAS in the peace process, Ozkok notes that the PKK's imprisoned leader Abdullah Ocalan promised to contribute to efforts to settle the Kurdish question. He comments: "The PKK is a key player in the Kurdish question facing Turkey. This fact was clearly demonstrated in protests and rallies organized by the Democratic Society Party. Saying that we will not sit at the negotiating table with this or that person has, therefore, become meaningless. Turkey must stop loss of lives one way or the other. Let me put it more courageously and clearly: if Ocalan will really help stopping loss of lives and resolving the Kurdish question, his offer should not be rejected."

    A report entitled "Twenty bones unearthed in excavations in Cizre" in Milliyet says that gendarmerie units acting on information given by a PKK informer discovered around 20 bones in excavations carried out in Kustepe village near the southeastern township of Cizre. Excavations were also carried out in Silopi, Sirnak in response to allegations that some people were executed and their bodies were dumped into wells in the 90s.

    A report entitled "First detentions related to excavations in Cizre" in Sabah says that five unidentified suspects have been taken into police custody in response to allegations that they were involved in roadside executions in Cizre after the discovery of bones in the township. According to the report, the police are hunting former Cizre Mayor Kamil Atak who is accused of handing over some people who were believed to be aiding and abetting PKK guerillas to Hizbullah, a terrorist organization, for interrogation.

    In an article entitled "Not Washington but Ankara", Yeni Safak columnist Tamer Korkmaz argues that press reports saying that US President Obama has put together a new plan to get the PKK to lay down arms reflect a mistaken perception of Washington's role vis--vis the latest developments in northern Iraq, adding that rather than being a driving force of the new process in this region, the United States is in the position of a player that has been required to adapt itself to extraordinary developments over which it has no control. He argues that the regional initiative has shifted from the United States to Turkey and that it is Ankara rather than Washington that has the power to determine the future of Iraq.

    d) Visit to Turkey of Barrack Obama

    In an article entitled "Will the Armenian ambassador submit his letter of credence?" Radikal columnist Deniz Seyrek draws attention to unconfirmed reports that the Turkish and Armenian governments will sign an important agreement prior to US President Barack Obama's visit to Turkey. He notes that new steps may be taken by the Turkish and Armenian governments, including opening low-level diplomatic offices or accrediting their ambassadors to Georgia also as their ambassadors to Armenia and Turkey, respectively.

    In an article entitled "Cyprus holds the key," Taraf columnist Temel Iskit says that a settlement that could be reached in Cyprus by the end of the year may give accession talks between Turkey and the EU a fresh impetus. Pointing out that all hopes are apparently pinned on steps to be taken by the Obama Administration in order to break the impasse reached in Cyprus, Iskit comments: "Obama seems to be committed to keeping all promises he has made. He can at least take steps that would revive hopes of a solution in Cyprus which have not totally vanished."

    In an article entitled "Obama may select Iran as venue for major speech", Today's Zaman columnist Lale Sariibrahimoglu asserts that US President Obama might choose to deliver his "major speech" in Iran ... if there are significant advances in an ongoing, though early, rapprochement with Tehran."

    In an article entitled "Partial constitutional amendment worse than doing nothing", Today's Zaman columnist Kerim Balci warns that amending the Constitution only partially, as Prime Minister Erdogan proposes to do after the local elections, will only "kill the synergy that the nation has created for positive, constructive change."

    EG/


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