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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-03-24
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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. 56/09 24.03.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The final lists of the candidates in the elections were announced yesterdayTurkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (24.03.09) reports that the self-styled Supreme Election Council (YSK) announced yesterday the final lists of the candidates for the 50 seats in the assembly during the elections to be held on 19 April in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. The candidacy of three persons has been rejected. One of these persons was an independent candidate and the other two were included in the list of the Politics for the People (HIS) Party. The total number of the candidates in the elections is 358.
The paper writes that 350 of these candidates belong to seven political parties and eight of them are independent. However, the number of the candidates who meet the criteria to be candidates is only 356, because two candidates of HIS are not eligible to be elected. The names of these candidates will be included in the list of the party, but in case they receive enough votes to win a seat, they will not take their place in the assembly.
The candidate of the party who received the most votes after them will be elected. Three of the independent candidates will run for the elections in occupied Lefkosia, one in Keryneia, three in Morfou and one in Trikomo. One independent candidate in Lefkosia has withdrawn his candidacy.
 Izcan and Yonluer analysed their first 100 days programme in case they win the electionsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.03.09) reports that the program under the title The First 100 Days was broadcast live last night by Kibris TV from the premises of the illegal Cyprus International University (UKU). The program was broadcast for the second time. Candidates from the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), the National Unity Party (UBP), the Social Democracy Party (TDP), the Democratic Party (DP), the United Cyprus Party (BKP) and the Politics for the People (HIS) Party asked questions to Izzet Izcan and Ahmet Yonluer, general secretary of the BKP and president of the HIS respectively, after Izcan and Yonluer explained what they would do in the first 100 days in case they win the elections.
In his statements, Mr Izcan said they do not accept the meddling of Turkey in the administration of the occupied areas of Cyprus and noted that their target is for the administration to pass to the hands of the Turkish Cypriots within 24 hours. He said that in the first 24 hours they will meet with the ambassador of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, the security forces, the central bank and the ministry of interior and call them to account. He noted that they will call the embassy to account regarding the structure of the population in the occupied areas and added that they do not accept the current form of administration. Lefkosia will decide and Ankara will condone, he argued.
He said that they will put an end to the obligatory military service and establish a professional army. He noted that they will adopt the euro as their currency. Mr Izcan said that he will ask the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat if he will continue to say that I will sit if the government in Turkey tells me to sit and stand up if it tells me to stand up. If you continue to do this, our roads will separate, I will say to him, he added. Mr Izcan noted that the vision of his party for the solution is clear and added that they want a free, independent and united Cyprus with territorial integrity and to live brotherly with the entire Cypriot people. He noted that this wish could be materialized only with the federal solution and added that they want the country to be demilitarized and disarmed. He pointed out that the solution cannot be reached by talking the one day about federation and the other about confederation.
In his statements, Ahmet Yonluer said that new models for economic development should be tried and argued that the Dubai Model could be applied for the occupied areas of Cyprus. He noted that with this model a free trade zone will be established and added that the aim will be bringing and selling cheap products in the occupied areas. He said that the first thing they will do in case they come to power will be the establishment of a crisis desk. He noted that they will prepare a 50-year master plan regarding the town planning and lift the restrictions on the Turkish and Greek Cypriot properties in the occupied areas.
 Soyer announced the manifesto of the CTP for the electionsTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (24.03.09) reports that Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) announced last night the manifesto of the party for the elections of the 19th of April. The 133-page manifesto under the title Progress wants courage, includes the actions of the CTP and its plans for the future on the issue of achieving progress regarding the solution of the Cyprus problem and the accession to the EU, its proposals for amendments to the constitution, its actions for achieving sustainable economic development, its work for preparing the Turkish Cypriots for international competition and its targets for the next five years.
Mr Soyer described the Cyprus problem as fault line and added that strong edifices, such as the CTP which could hold out against earthquakes, are needed. He argued that with the opening of the door to international legitimacy with the 2004 referendum, various changes were made in the political and social life in the occupied areas. Mr Soyer said that while they exert efforts for the solution of the Cyprus problem, they continue their work for harmonization with the Copenhagen and Maastricht Criteria. He noted that after the elections of 19 April they will submit to the EU and implement the program they prepared. He argued that thanks to the Property Compensation Commission, the European Court of Human Rights started taking into consideration the views of Northern Cyprus . Mr Soyer said that the Turkish Cypriots sold products of ¬ 7.5 million to the Greek Cypriots within the framework of the Green Line Regulation. He noted that in five years their GDP increased from $1.2 billion to $3.6 billion and the imports from $470 million to $1.5 billion.
 From the visit of Gul to Baghdad. He likened Kurdistan to FYROMMain issue in today s Turkish daily newspapers (24.03.09) is the trip of President Abdullah Gul to Iraqs capital, Baghdad. Mr Gul is the first Turkish President after 33 years to visit Baghdad. Mr Gul met with his Iraqi counterpart Jalal Talabani. Following are the newspaper reports on Mr Guls visit:
Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper under its banner headline, First official Kurdistan, reports that President Abdullah Gul, who is the first Turkish President to visit Iraq after 33 years, used the expression Kurdistan Regional Administration for the first time. Speaking to reporters on his way to the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, Mr Gul called it Kurdistan Regional Administration instead of administration of northern Iraq. Gul said: What should I say? We do not stop using the word Macedonia just because Greece does not use such an expression. This is what is written in the Iraqi constitution.
Turkish daily Sabah newspaper under its banner headline, This affair issue end, reports that President Abdullah Gul, who is the first Turkish President to visit Iraq in the past 33 years, said that a new era should start to stop bloodshed and boost brotherhood. Speaking to reporters on his way to Baghdad, Mr Gul used the word Kurdistan for the first time. Mr Gul said that terrorism should come to an end. He said: This issue must come to an end. Arms will be laid down, terrorism and bloodshed will stop. Referring to the forthcoming Kurdish conference, Mr Gul said, inter alia: Kurds of northern Iraq finally understood that the terrorist organisation is the one poisoning our relations. Now they are taking action for the first time to stop bloodshed. We will see. Either they will lay down their arms, or... he said.
Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper under its banner title, Gul gave important messages on his way to Baghdad; Historic step against terrorism, reports that on his way to Baghdad, President Abdullah Gul told reporters aboard the plane that efforts were underway behind closed doors, I am hopeful he said. Iraqs President Jalal Talabani said: The PKK will either lay down its arms or leave this country.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Turkey to use US influence on Greek Cypriots regarding the negotiation talksTodays Zaman newspaper (24.03.09) reports the following:
President Obama's visit to Turkey next month promises to be a historic event in recent Turkish-American relations.
There is no doubt that even the news of the visit has already sparked such an atmosphere that the visit will be registered in the annals as an important step in "rebuilding the strategic partnership with Turkey." This is a phrase I borrowed from the Obama-Biden policy platform on Europe published before the election.
Apart from the niceties pertaining to the fact that a US president is engaging with Turkey early on at the highest level, there are many issues that are expected to be on the table. It is highly likely that Obama will ask Turkey to increase its contribution to the NATO effort in Afghanistan, something that is being discussed internally within the Turkish decision-making structure. Provided that other NATO members contribute equally, it is not too farfetched to contemplate Turkey sharing more of the burden there.
Turkey will ask President Obama to use US influence on Greek Cyprus to convey a clear message to Nicosia that there will be a cost to the failure of the UN-sponsored talks. This is a relatively cost-free policy issue for Washington, but it must be highlighted as the talks are extremely significant this time.
The issue of US troop withdrawal from Iraq, the future of Iraq as well as thorny issues such as Kirkuk will be discussed. Provided the appropriate modalities are mutually agreed upon, there appears to be little resistance to a US withdrawal among the parties in the Turkish Parliament. Obviously, the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) issue in light of the recent rapprochement with the northern Iraqi authorities -- possibly leading to the final eradication of the PKK menace from northern Iraq -- will be discussed.
Continued US support for Turkey's EU drive will be reiterated. Reviving the Israel-Syria talks under Turkish auspices or joint auspices is likely to be talked about. Naturally, the issue of Israel-Palestine as well as views on the Middle East will be shared. Iran -- and how to deal with this complicated issue -- is certainly going to be high on the US agenda, particularly in consideration of Turkey's UN Security Council seat.
Last but not least, the only pressing short-term issue will be brought up: the Armenian resolution in the US Congress and the president's statement on April 24. On this issue there are divergent views. Some in Washington believe that it will be difficult for Obama to retract his campaign promises, while others argue that he will follow what every president has done before him and act responsibly. Regardless of what he and his administration feel about this issue, there is little doubt that the current normalization effort with Armenia will figure prominently in everyone's mind. The visionary diplomacy undertaken by the two sides is historic and we want to believe that all sides understand the sensitivity and the opportunity at hand.
Despite the risks that the Armenian issue poses for Turkish-American relations, they have the potential to develop in a fashion that would remind us of the strong partnership both nations enjoyed for five decades. The US and Turkey have common interests in the region, although they sometimes choose to emphasize different means. Obama made a great start with his message to Al-Arabiya and Iran on Nevruz. His visit to Ankara may even add to the positive momentum he has garnered. The Middle East and the wider Islamic world will be eagerly watching how the visit will unfold.
 Columnist in Istanbul Hurriyet Daily News.com argues that Afghanistan and Iran are behind the growing US support for TurkeyIstanbul Hurriyet Daily News.com (23.03.09) publishes a commentary by Ferai Tinc under the title: "What you see when you look from the outside". Following is the commentary:
As I was observing the debates that were being held prior to the NATO summit in Brussels I realized that similar to many things that we do not talk about, another important incident in the Aegean Sea was also being ignored.
Despite the fact that we did not talk about this incident, it was widely debated in Greece.
A military maneuver will be held in the Aegean and the Mediterranean on 29 and 30 March at the invitation of Turkey. The Egemen [Sovereign] 09 Joint Maneuver will be held with the participation of the United States, Britain, the Netherlands, and Belgium.
The maneuver which aims to ensure that NATO forces intervene in hot clashes that may erupt in the Aegean Sea and that they investigate the reasons behind the clashes, has led to Greece's reaction. The Greek defense minister has asked the countries that will participate in the maneuver to change their decision in this regard. However his call has been ignored. Greece is concerned that its claims regarding the Aegean and the Mediterranean will not be taken seriously.
The maneuver in the controversial waters alone might not have been so important, but given that US President Obama will not stop in Greece when visiting Turkey, these two incidents were jointly assessed and political conclusions were drawn accordingly.
Washington, in an effort to end the criticism leveled by Athens, issued a statement to the effect that despite the economic measures, the Greek Independence Day will be celebrated at a reception that will be given at the White House on 25 March. This did not help, however.
My Greek colleagues noted that this is a tradition that is repeated every year and they sought the answer to the following question:
What is the reason for the growing support for Turkey? The truth is that this has been the mostly asked question behind the scenes lately.
When we look at the items that are being discussed by NATO and at how it is shaping itself on its 60th anniversary, the answer to this question becomes clear.
On Thursday French President Sarkozy submitted to NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer a letter about his country's request to return to NATO's military wing.
This is a formality. Currently talks will be held on the modalities of France's return to NATO's military wing. It will be necessary to hold discussions on the commands that it will take over, its command structure and its contributions to the joint budget and defense planning process.
France's return to NATO's military wing will mean that the dispute that had prevailed between Europe and the United States after 11 September has finally ended. More important is the fact that Washington will take up security issues with Europe within the framework of NATO where it is more influential. The Transatlantic Alliance is getting stronger. This development will comfort the countries in the transatlantic wing of NATO, among them Turkey.
It is therefore of vital importance for the United States to ensure that this process does not fail not only from the military standpoint, but also from the political standpoint. Rather than becoming an obstacle Turkey is requested to extend support during this period that will enable Turkey to hold talks with France at every stage. They listen to Turkey more and they make more efforts to convince Turkey.
Afghanistan is the reason behind all these efforts. Everything is being planned and shaped according to Afghanistan. Prior to the US elections it had been noted that the super power era had ended and everyone had talked about the post-American era. Currently the United States is trying to change this image with the winds of the Obama period.
Together with General Petraeus and Holbrooke priority is being given to Afghanistan with a strategy that is based on winning the people.
Rather than doing this alone, the United States will do this with NATO. NATO appears to be locked on Afghanistan and the new strategy document will be prepared in this climate.
When we look through this prism, we see that the control of Iran is very important for Turkey in terms of Iraq's stability. NATO takes the option of cooperating with Iran regarding Afghanistan very seriously. And one of the routes to stability in Iraq passes through the solution of the Kurdish problem in Turkey.
It is important for the United States to avoid problems with Turkey during this critical period. This is the reason behind the pains that the US Administration is taking with the Justice and Development Party.
 From the Turkish Press of 23 March 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 23 March 2009:
a) Turkish-Armenian ties
In a column entitled ""Anxiety in Baku as Turkey Armenia nears reconciliation" in Hurriyet Daily News.com, Barcin Yinanc views Turkish-Armenian talks aiming for normalization of relations and Azerbaijan's concern over the impact of the reconciliation between the two countries. Yinanc concludes that the US Administration is likely to exert pressure on Turkey and Armenia to reach a compromise before the Armenian commemoration day on 24 April. She adds: "A historic decision is awaiting the government on what it will get from Armenia in exchange for opening the borders and establishing diplomatic relations. No doubt, reconciliation with Armenia and its implications to relations with Azerbaijan will be the most important foreign policy challenge facing the government immediately after the local elections."
b) Turkish US relations
Interesting details surface while studying the reasons behind the new US Administration's Turkey policy, says Ferai Tinc in an article in Hurriyet. Referring to US Special Representative Richard Holbrooke's statement on Turkey's possible help in operations carried out against the Taliban, Tinc looks into the type of possible cooperation between United States and Turkey. Pointing out that the United States is trying to introduce a political alternative in resolving the Afghanistan issue, Tinc maintains that President Obama will support Taliban's participation as a political party in the elections to be held this year. She notes that the United States is making attempts to hold contacts with the relatively moderate sections of the Taliban, adding that the participation of Golboddin Hekmatyar, who was one of the Islamist leaders that the CIA supported against the Russian occupation in the 70s, in the elections is another secret plan. Recalling that Turkey knows Hekmatyar from the time when his picture was taken together with Prime Minister Erdogan, Tinc asserts that Turkey is aware of efforts to contact Hekmatyar that were launched by the United Kingdom in 2007 even though the impact of the previous relations between Erdogan and Hekmatyar is unknown. Recalling an article by Holbrooke in which he wrote that Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are the five countries that are at the center of new geo-strategic issues of the United States, Tinc says that maintaining stability is the ultimate goal. Tinc concludes that she has some concerns over the new US Administration's possible support of oppressive regimes for the sake of attaining stability.
In an article entitled "A successful visit" in Sabah, Omer Taspinar evaluates foreign policy adviser Ahmet Davutoglu's recent Washington visit. Pointing out that the meeting Davutoglu held with National Security Adviser James Jones took longer than expected, Taspinar maintains that Turkish-US ties are entering a "historic era of reconciliation" in which the Middle East policies of both countries are nearly parallel. Summarizing the major issues that were discussed at the meeting, Taspinar draws attention to Turkey's increasing role in Afghanistan following the closure of Manas base in Kyrgyzstan that was used in transfer of military logistics to Afghanistan. Taspinar draws attention to the rising strategic importance of the Incirlik base.
Yaman Toruner views the reasons behind US President Obama's upcoming visit to Turkey in his article in Milliyet. Questioning what the political and economic interests of the United States are by "gaining Turkey," Toruner maintains that the United States -- in order to overcome the economic crisis -- needs to reduce expenses without losing power as well as to preserve the interest in investments in countries that attract hot money attraction. To this end, he says that the United States must withdraw its troops from Iraq without losing its control over the region. Toruner argues that the United States must conquer the Iranian economy by privatization and accustom the Iranian people to consumption in order to make money by introducing hot money to Iran. Pointing out that the influence of EU and Germany on Turkey will decrease when the PKK lays down arms as well as Russia's aspiration to become a dominant power in the region, Toruner maintains that these factors justify United States' overture to Turkey.
He concludes that in order for the Turkish economy to successfully serve US aims, Turkey must reach an agreement with the IMF, maintain stability in foreign currency rates, increase interest rates, and preserve political stability.
In an article entitled "How did 'Superman' Davutoglu flash through Washington?" Zaman columnist Ali Aslan analyzes the results of a series of visits paid by Turkish officials and politicians, including Ahmet Davutoglu, chief foreign policy adviser of Erdogan, to Washington. He says: "Davutoglu was optimistic when he returned to Ankara because of his observations that Turkey's foreign policy preferences and priorities were parallel with those of the Obama Administration and their approaches largely similar."