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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-03-19

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. 53/09 19.03.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The breakaway regime has reportedly given dud cheques to the lawyers of the Orams couple; Hasan Vahib denies the information noting that the Orams have sponsors
  • [02] Ercakica commends on the EPs report on Turkey; Expert from the EU to assist the Cyprus talks; Nami said they do not want the talks to stop for the elections
  • [03] Statements by Turkish Cypriot who recoursed to ECJ regarding the Euro-elections: We are now bringing forward our request for recognition of the TRNC
  • [04] Soyer said the water from Turkey project is financed entirely by Turkey and argued that talking about the works for bringing natural gas will be bad for these works
  • [05] The number of the Turkish Cypriots employed in the government-controlled areas of Cyprus has reportedly decreased during the last month
  • [06] The imports and exports of the breakaway regime decreased in January 2009
  • [07] Antiquities were found in a house in occupied Pergamos village
  • [08] French Prime-Minister to pay a visit to Turkey in July
  • [09] Another resolution from US Congressmen on the recognition of the Armenian genocide
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 18 March 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The breakaway regime has reportedly given dud cheques to the lawyers of the Orams couple; Hasan Vahib denies the information noting that the Orams have sponsors

    Under the title Is there a lawyers crisis in the Orams case? Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (19.03.09) reports that according to information published in the Turkish Haber Turk newspaper on 15 March 2009 (page 12) under the title Partner swindle to Cherie Blair who defends the TRNC, Mrs Cherie Blair and her partner Bitu Bhalla, who defend the Orams couple in the lawsuit filed by the Greek Cypriot refugee Meletis Apostolides from Lapithos, have not received the amount of 270 thousand sent by the TRNC in return of their services.

    Star Kibris publishes statements made by lawyer Hasan Vahib, who described the above information as groundless. He said: The TRNC is not paying the money of the Orams case. They have sponsors. Anyway, the case is continuing. We shall launch legal proceedings regarding the newspaper which published these allegations.

    Vahib said that Mrs Blair is still defending the Orams couple, that no change was made in the team and that they expect a decision in their favor in April by the European Court of Justice.

    Star Kibris reports that the news published in the Haber Turk newspaper was signed by Daphne Barak, who argued that the issue started when Blair and Bitu received a letter from the TRNC government that the payment was made some months ago and added: The TRNC government, noting that the amount of 270 thousand was paid some months ago, wants confirmation that the money reached its destination. After that, Bitu Bhalla telephons Hasan Vahib and asks what happened with the money.

    The Turkish newspaper noted also that Mr Vahib confirmed the payment and said that 120 thousand was sent to Bhalla and 150 thousand to Blair, but alleged that the cheques were proved to be dud cheques.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Ercakica commends on the EPs report on Turkey; Expert from the EU to assist the Cyprus talks; Nami said they do not want the talks to stop for the elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.03.09) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, has argued that the call made by the European Parliament (EP) on Turkey to open its ports to Cyprus and withdraw its troops from the island encourages the intransigent stance of the Greek Cypriots and is not helpful to the negotiating process on the island. In statements yesterday during his weekly briefing to the press, Mr Ercakica described as important the support expressed in the report of the EP on Turkey to the negotiating process between the two leaders in Cyprus and the fact that it is said that the EU will accept any agreement between the two leaders and that some derogations could exist in this agreement.

    Mr Ercakica said that the representatives of the two leaders and experts will meet and discuss the technical details this week with the aim of the sides coming closer on the EU affairs. He argued that it is inevitable that the progress achieved in the chapter of Governance and Power Sharing, which constitutes the basis of the negotiations, will be reflected in the chapter for the EU.

    Meanwhile, Mr Ercakica criticized the news published in daily Kibris newspaper last week regarding the meeting of Mr Talat with the Turkish Prime Minister Erogan in Istanbul, which Mr Talat visited for holding contacts with some NGOs and media. Mr Ercakica described as speculations the reports of Kibris that Mr Talat conveyed to Mr Erdogan his discomfort from the news published in Kibris newspaper. He said that this does not reflect the truth. He noted that Mr Talat made use of the opportunity to meet with Mr Erdogan because the program of the Turkish Prime Minister allowed such a meeting. He said that the information published in Kibris regarding the meeting was groundless and accused the paper of violating the freedom of the press and the right of the people to be informed, because it did not publish a statement sent to it by Mr Talat.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (19.03.09) reports that Mr Ercakica expressed satisfaction with the statements made by President Christofias who after the last meeting between the leaders said that there are chances for agreement and that the work in the negotiations should be intensified.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (19.03.09), under the title The experts do not stop, reports that Ozdil Nami, representative of Mr Talat, told illegal TAK news agency that the experts will meet today and tomorrow. Mr Nami noted that himself and the presidential Commissioner George Iacovou will participate in the meeting tomorrow. Responding to a question, Mr Nami said that the negotiations will not stop because of the elections and added that the Turkish side has no such demand.

    Meanwhile, it was made known that Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-Generals Special Advisor on Cyprus, will work on the chapter regarding the EU affairs with Pieter Van Nuffel, expert sent by the European Commission. Responding to a question of illegal TAK news agency, Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, said they know that a person with this name is holding contacts on the island in order to become assistant of Mr Downer.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Statements by Turkish Cypriot who recoursed to ECJ regarding the Euro-elections: We are now bringing forward our request for recognition of the TRNC

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.03.09) reported the following from Luxembourg:

    Turkish Cypriots filed a lawsuit at the European Court of Justice on Wednesday and asked the court to cancel elections to the European Parliament in the Greek Cypriot administration to be held in June.

    Mehmet Bayramoglu and Munir Tatar, two Turkish Cypriots living in Britain, also filed complaint about the Council of the European Union.

    The European Parliament election in June 2009 will be the biggest trans-national election in history.

    Almost 500 million European citizens in 27 countries will cast votes, as 736 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) are elected for a five-year term.

    Six of the 736 parliamentarians are assumed to represent Cyprus at the European Parliament. Two of these six parliamentarians have to be elected by Turkish Cypriots and represent Turkish Cypriots.

    Bayramoglu and Tatar requested interlocutory court order to stop the election in the island, saying that the Greek Cypriot side would not hold voting in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and were talking about putting ballot boxes at border crossings.

    They said Turkish Cypriots should have the right to vote in the election.

    They are looking for candidates having Turkish Cypriot names but Greek Cypriot views, Bayramoglu said. Greek Cypriots are seeking two Turkish Cypriots traitors in TRNC.

    Bayramoglu said all they wanted was an election in which Turkish Cypriots could use their democratic rights.

    Bayramoglu and Tatar argued that election in the island was against the Greek Cypriot constitution, EU principles, and contrary to the Treaty of London and Treaty of Zurich. They also said that Turkish Cypriots were seen as a minority in the island.

    The Republic of Cyprus was divided in 1963 and we are now bringing forward our request for recognition of the TRNC. It would be a great success for us either we win or lose the case. The controversy that we would stir could cause discomfort in the European Union. Both the EU and the international community would once again question themselves about the fake Republic of Cyprus, Bayramoglu said.

    The court is expected to examine the file in the following weeks.

    [04] Soyer said the water from Turkey project is financed entirely by Turkey and argued that talking about the works for bringing natural gas will be bad for these works

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (19.03.09) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled prime minister, has reminded that during the ceremony for the anniversary of the Turkish invasion of Cyprus on 20 July the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan said that the project for bringing water to the occupied areas of Cyprus from Turkey will be completed in 2012. Mr Soyer accused the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), Dervis Eroglu of using the issue in the elections.

    Mr Soyer noted that he does not want to talk more on this issue because bringing water to Cyprus is important. He added that the project is seriously advancing and it is financed entirely by Turkey. Mr Soyer said that serious work is also being carried out for bringing natural gas to the occupied areas, but he is not talking about this issue because it would be bad to reveal these works.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] The number of the Turkish Cypriots employed in the government-controlled areas of Cyprus has reportedly decreased during the last month

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.03.09) reports that according to Turkish Cypriot workers whom the paper met at the Pergamos and Ledra Palace barricades, an obvious decrease is observed in the number of the Turkish Cypriots who work in the government-controlled areas of the Republic during the last month.

    The workers said: In any case we could not find jobs in the north. If the doors for working in the south are closed, we shall be destroyed. The paper notes that the constructions sector in the government-controlled areas of the Republic has been the only hope for the Turkish Cypriot workers in the constructions because of the collapse of the constructions sector in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the decrease of the production in the light industry and the increasing number of the unemployed persons. However, the Greek Cypriot employers, who are decreasing the number of their employees as they are hit by the global economic crisis, are laying off the Turkish Cypriots first.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] The imports and exports of the breakaway regime decreased in January 2009

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (19.03.09) reports that the imports and exports of the breakaway regime for the first month of this year decreased by 33% compared to the same period of last year. According to data given by the Department of Trade, the imports decreased to $78.8 million in January 2009, while the exports fell to $4.3 million. Turkey is the country from where the most of the imports were made in January 2008. The imports from Turkey decreased by 34% in January 2009 and were $50.3 million, while the exports to Turkey decreased by 17% and fell to $2.7 million.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Antiquities were found in a house in occupied Pergamos village

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (19.03.09) reports that the police of the breakaway regime have carried out an operation in occupied Pergamos village and found 67 pieces of antiquities in the house of Gursel Cagansel (49). It is believed that the antiquities have been stolen from ancient graves and they belong to the Ancient, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods. Experts said the antiquities belong to a period before 2300 and 2700 years and they are worth around 250 thousand Turkish liras.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] French Prime-Minister to pay a visit to Turkey in July

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (18.03.09) reported the following from Paris:

    French Prime Minister Francois Fillon will pay a formal visit to Turkey in July, diplomats said on Wednesday.

    Fillon will visit Turkey at the invitation of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Turkish and French diplomats are still working on the date of the visit. French officials want to set the date following elections at the European Parliament in June, in a move to block possible propaganda by politicians against Turkey's EU membership, analysts said.

    Turkey and France had tensions over the past few years, due to a bill on the incidents of 1915 approved by the French Parliament. However, the bill was not carried to French Senate. France also suggested "privileged partnership" for Turkey instead of full EU membership.

    Fillon's visit to Ankara aims to give new impetus to improve mutual relations, analysts said.

    France had not raised difficulties for Turkey during its term as the rotating EU President last year, and opened two chapters in accession talks with Turkey as it pledged before. However, France still vetoes opening of five chapters.

    [09] Another resolution from US Congressmen on the recognition of the Armenian genocide

    Todays Zaman newspaper (19.03.09) reports that in a move considered unlikely to succeed, US congressmen introduced another resolution on Tuesday calling for recognition of the Armenian genocide.

    The resolution, introduced by 77 co-sponsors in the House of Representatives, calls on US President Barack Obama to "accurately characterize the systematic and deliberate annihilation of 1,500,000 Armenians as genocide" in his annual message to be released on April 24, marked as commemoration day by Armenians. The resolution is nearly identical to an earlier one introduced in 2007.

    The move comes weeks before President Obama is expected to pay a visit to Turkey. If passed, the resolution would alienate Ankara, which denies the genocide claims, and undermine the Obama administration's efforts to win Turkish support in a number of key foreign policy goals. During Obama's visit to Turkey, which is expected to take place April 6-7, Iran's nuclear program, US plans to withdraw troops from Iraq and Middle East peace efforts will be on the agenda. The fact that Obama plans to visit Turkey just two months after taking office is widely seen as indicative of the central role Ankara is set to play in the Obama administration's foreign policy.

    In 2000, a similar resolution was shelved by House Speaker Dennis Hastert following an urgent phone call from the White House.

    The current resolution was sponsored mostly by congressmen who represent large numbers of Armenian-American constituents. Lead sponsors are Adam Schiff, George Radanovich and Congressional Armenian Caucus Co-Chairs Frank Pallone and Mark Kirk. In the days leading up to the introduction of the resolution, the four congressmen sent a letter to Obama urging him to recognize the genocide claims.

    Obama made firm pledges during his election campaign that he would support the genocide claims if he was elected, but he now seems to be hesitating over whether to stick to these promises. The biggest test for the Obama administration is whether the president will use the "g-word" on April 24 in his traditional commemorative message. Experts say he will switch his position, like many of his predecessors did, but Babacan has said repeatedly that he sees risk regarding the April 24 statement.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITIORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 18 March 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 18 March 2009:

    a) Ergenekon

    Fikret Bila recounts his conversation with Hilmi Ozkok and Yasar Buyukanit, the two retired chiefs of the General Staff, following the publication of the arrested in the framework of Ergenekon, Cumhuriyet journalist Mustafa Balbay's diaries. The names of both generals were mentioned in Balbay's diaries and Bila asks for their comments in an article in Milliyet. Ozkok questions the veracity of the diaries when asked what he thinks of the criticisms leveled against him by some generals and journalists. Buyukanit rejects some of the statements attributed to him in the diaries, adding that he would never use such words. Both generals express their readiness to testify in the court if necessary.

    Taha Akyol also refers to Balbay's diaries in his article entitled "The coup ideology" in Milliyet. Citing some of the generals' views on political issues included in the published diaries, Akyol points out that the generals believe that they are holding a magic wand to resolve political and social problems. Quoting an article published by General Yalman right after his retirement, Akyol recalls that, at the time, Yalman had defended the policy of imposing authoritarian measures in resolving the Kurdish issue. Noting that Yalman changed his views later, Akyol quotes Yalman saying the following in an interview a year later: "If we had accepted the Kurds' cultural and language rights on time we would have resolved the Kurdish problem but, being led to believe there were no Kurds, we failed to recognize and resolve the problem on time." Akyol concludes that the mentality, reaction, and methods of the military are not suitable for resolving the political and social problems, adding that such ideology not only harms the country but the army's internal functions as well.

    In an article entitled "The journals" in Taraf, Ahmet Altan questions why a successful journalist like Mustafa Balbay secretly cooperates with coup plotters. Arguing that an individual cannot serve his or her country by engaging in secret deeds, Altan maintains that deciding "to save a people despite itself" is tantamount to fascism." Posing questions such as the need to have a law to protect Ataturk, the need to erect sculptures, and to hang pictures of Ataturk, Altan asserts that the need felt for such steps shows that there is a problem. Indeed there is, he continues: "If Ataturk had not taken actions 'despite the people,' neither Kurds nor religion would be an issue today." Altan adds that the coup plotters of today say that they take Ataturk as a "model" and that they always tend to act in "secrecy" and "despite the people." Pointing out to another factor, that the Turkish society also has a tendency to show absolute respect only to an "armed ruling power" ever since the Ottoman Empire, Altan concludes that, in Turkey, respect shows up only when it is nourished with fear.

    In an article entitled "Gataland", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak calls on the General Staff, the Ministry of Defense, military prosecutors, the Government, the parliamentary national defense and human rights commissions, and the office of the president to launch an investigation into what he describes as the irregular transfer of certain military suspects in the Ergenekon investigation to GATA military hospital. He asserts that the "unlawful" referral of retired generals Sener Eruygur and Levent Ersoz to GATA has caused Turkey to look like a "banana republic" and accuses GATA of functioning as an establishment for protecting and harboring suspects.

    In an article entitled "Dear journal", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal calls attention to the "great similarity" between Mustafa Balbay's recently revealed notes on his conversations with certain generals and former Naval Forces Commander Ozden Ornek's journals relating a number of coup attempts back in 2004. He claims that Balbay's journals confirm "scenarios" of a military takeover that were "whispered" in political Ankara after the AKP was elected into office in 2002.

    b) Kurdish Issue

    In an article in Taraf, Lale Sariibrahimoglu says that issuing a general amnesty for the PKK appears to be accepted by the state's decision-making authorities. Recalling that President Gul had told the journalists that "good things will take place regarding the Kurdish issue" on his way to Iran, Sariibrahimoglu argues that Gul might have insinuated to the elimination of the PKK. She concludes that creating a public opinion in favor of the general amnesty, which is expected to play a major role in resolving the Kurdish problem without violence, is one of the most important tests of the decision-makers.

    Cengiz Candar recounts his luncheon with Iraqi President Talabani and some other journalists in an article in Hurriyet. Saying that the main topic was "PKK's disarmament," Candar adds that Talabani stressed two major points. First, that political methods and diplomacy replaced armed struggles and second, that the Kurds in Iraq, Iran, Syria, Europe, and the Kurdish parties in Turkey will possibly summon a conference in Arbil at the end of April or beginning of May and call on the PKK "to abandon arms."

    In an article entitled "The personal history of all of us", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru discusses the significance of the ongoing excavations at dumping grounds in Sirnak and Diyarbakir in search of the bodies of victims of unsolved murders in the southeast. He describes the excavations as part of a difficult process whereby Turkey is confronting its own recent past by probing alleged unauthorized killings in the fight against terrorism. He also claims that the blame for the current picture of Turkey as a country "with corpses spewing out of its wells" rests with part of the news media which provided "silent or loud support" for the mistakes made in the struggle against terrorism.

    c) President Obamas visit to Turkey

    In an article entitled "Not crying but defying", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul comments on a Washington Times analysis by Frank Gaffney which criticizes President Obama for preparing to "pay tribute" to the "Islamist government" in Ankara by visiting Turkey as part of a "respect Islam campaign." Karagul describes Gaffney as a member of a team of "intellectual terrorists" who want the ruling AKP to be ousted in a military coup and who are controlled by the Israeli ultra-right. He contrasts Gaffney's latest article on Turkey with a Le Monde Diplomatique commentary by Vasilios Markezinis, "Queen Elizabeth's legal advisor," who argues that Turkey will become a global player if it emphasizes its Islamic heritage. Karagul also asserts that the potential dispute between the two articles is analogous to the debate in Turkey between those who want to eliminate the weaknesses of this country, consolidate its regional influence, and enable it to achieve global influence and prestige and those who want to suppress freedoms and are looking into garnering political power from domestic tensions.

    In an article entitled "Loving the monster will only whet its appetite", Milli Gazete columnist Huseyin Altinalan comments on reader response to a recent article in which he censured journalists like Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan for lauding Barack Obama's decision to visit Turkey as a major "gesture" signifying the amount of importance the new US president attaches to Turkey. He relates how some readers were "horrified" to read the entirety of Aslan's 9 March article. He also claims that Obama will be coming to Turkey to voice a series of demands contrary to Turkey's interests about Armenia, Afghanistan, Cyprus, the Middle East, Iran, northern Iraq, and energy issues.

    EG/


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