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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-04-28

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. 77/09 28.04.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] roglu argues that a wrong verdict by the ECJ on the Orams case could harm the negotiation process in Cyprus
  • [02] Talat said their objective is the solution of the Cyprus problem by establishing a partnership state
  • [03] Talat met with a delegation of Italian businessmen who are illegally visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [04] Serdar Denktas insists that political parties bought votes during the recent parliamentarian elections
  • [05] The establishment of a stable and a broad based government is among the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry
  • [06] The self-styled ministry of health stated that no incident of the pandemic swine-flue virus has been established in the occupied areas of Cyprus until now
  • [07] US envoy summoned to ministry over Obama message
  • [08] International Defense Industry Fair opens in Istanbul
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] Turkish Cypriot columnist: Even if we give title deeds, the reality that these properties belong to the Greek Cypriots is there and this reality will never leave us in peace
  • [10] From the Turkish media of 01 February 24 April 2009 on human rights violations and tortures in Turkey

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] roglu argues that a wrong verdict by the ECJ on the Orams case could harm the negotiation process in Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.04.09) broadcast the following:

    The European Court of Justice (ECJ) will announce its decision on the Orams Case tomorrow.

    In a statement just a day before tomorrows verdict, the leader of the National Unity Party (UBP), Dervis Eroglu, has called on the European Court of Justice to be realistic, fair and constructive while taking a decision on the case.Pointing out that the Courts ruling was very important for the future course of the Cyprus, the UBP leader said: The decision may lead to serious results that could affect the existence and security of the Turkish Cypriot people on the island.Reminding that the Turkish Cypriot people had declared their own state by exercising their right to self-determination and brought into force their own constitution, he warned that any court decision in the way of implementation of the decisions taken by Greek Cypriot courts in North Cyprus and the subsequent activation of penalty provisions in case of a failure to comply, will only serve the realization of helenization of Cyprus, a dream of the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo.The UBP leader has pointed out that property was one of the issues being discussed by President Mehmet Ali Talat and Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias as part of the Cyprus negotiation process.

    He said: It isnt right to try to solve the issue only on the legal basis at a time when efforts towards bringing a political solution to the Cyprus problem are continuing. A wrong decision to be taken on the Orams case could harm the talks that are still continuing in Cyprus.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.04.09), reports in its front-page that a notice published yesterday in the official website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the United Kingdom has spread the fear of going to the prison within the British citizens who bought properties in the occupied areas of Cyprus. The notice warns that the illegal purchase, sale, transfer or transfer with mortgage of any title deeds in the occupied areas of Cyprus which are not registered in the Land Registry Office of the Republic of Cyprus, is considered a crime according to the law of the Republic of Cyprus. Anyone who acts in contrary with this, might be sent to prison for seven years, the notice warns.

    As the paper reports, this situation which occurred one day before the announcement of the decision of the European Court of Justice regarding the Orams case, paved the way for reactions among the Turkish Cypriots. According to the paper, political circles underlined that the Foreign and Commonwealth Office of the UK decided before the Court of Justice and they alleged that the threats for criminal proceeding against those who buy property from the occupied areas are not compatible with the realities in Cyprus.

    (AK)

    [02] Talat said their objective is the solution of the Cyprus problem by establishing a partnership state

    Illegal Bayrak television (27.04.09) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the objective was to solve the Cyprus problem by establishing a partnership state under the roof of a federation to be formed on the basis of two communities and two founding states.

    The President was speaking during a visit paid to him by students from the German Conrad Adenauer School who are in the TRNC as guest of the 19 Mayis College.Welcoming the students at the Presidential Palace, Mr Talat said that establishment of sister college relationships and these kinds of visits would help to improve peace and friendship in the world.

    Providing information on the course of the Cyprus negotiation process, President Talat pointed out that the problem has been continuing for 46 years.

    He explained that issues of concern, such as lack of confidence between the two communities, the fear that bitter experiences of the past will be repeated and EU membership, were being discussed at the negotiations.

    The President said they have been showing tolerance to differences of opinion in order to create bridges between the two sides, pointing out that many ethnical problems around the world were solved with these kinds of methods.

    [03] Talat met with a delegation of Italian businessmen who are illegally visiting the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.04.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat received yesterday a delegation from the Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen of Bergamo city in Italy, headed by its chairman, Angelo Carra. The 150-member delegation will be in the occupied areas of Cyprus between April 23-30 in order to hold its general assembly there.

    According to the paper, no statement was made after the meeting. The chairman of the Bergamo Chamber of Tradesmen and Craftsmen, Angelo Cara has given a placket to Talat as a present.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (28.04.09) newspaper reports on the same issue and writes that the businessmen from the city of Bergamo, Italy, expressed their wish to trade with the occupied areas of Cyprus and during the meeting they had with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, asked for his support in order to achieve this.

    [04] Serdar Denktas insists that political parties bought votes during the recent parliamentarian elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (28.04.09) reports that Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) has said he knew that there would be legal consequences after his statement that some parties have bought votes during the recent elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Speaking yesterday at a press conference at his party headquarters, Mr Denktas said: I made my statement regarding the buying of votes knowing that there would be legal consequences. He argued that he knew that this statement would be used by some persons who would present it as a confession by Mr Denktas. He claimed that his effort is in the direction of establishing the reasons of this problem and minimizing this mistake.

    Mr Denktas said: All the political parties, even if they do not accept that they have distributed money, should open the way for walking against this fact, by accepting that they received proposals in this direction, before it is too late tomorrow.

    Meanwhile, according to Star Kibris newspaper (28.04.09), the so-called Higher Election Council (YSK) has asked for the investigation of the allegations that votes have been bought or sold during the 19 April elections. The chairman of the YSK, Nevar Nolan, stated yesterday that because at this stage they do not know to what extent these allegations are true, they sent a letter to the attorney generals office and asked for an investigation to be carried out.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] The establishment of a stable and a broad based government is among the expectations of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.04.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry (KTSO) issued a written statement yesterday and announced its expectations from the National Unity Party (UBP). According to the paper, the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry demanded from UBP to establish a stable and broad based government in spite of the fact that it has an outright majority to form a government. It also asked from the UBP to establish a strong Ministry of Economy, which will contribute to the solution of the economic and structural problems.

    The Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Industry pointed out also in its statement the need for the splitting of the Ministry of Tourism from the Ministry of Economy, and for the attaching the necessary importance to the industry sector.

    (AK)

    [06] The self-styled ministry of health stated that no incident of the pandemic swine-flue virus has been established in the occupied areas of Cyprus until now

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (28.04.09) reports in its front page on statements by the undersecretary of the so-called ministry of health, Asaf Senol, who has said that until now no incident of the pandemic swine-flue virus has been established in the occupied areas of Cyprus and added that they are in contact with Turkey regarding this issue. Mr. Senol said also that they have started taking measures in order to prevent the spread of the virus and stated that the so-called department of health, which continues its works on the issue of the swine-flue, will issue a statement concerning the issue the following days.

    (AK)

    [07] US envoy summoned to ministry over Obama message

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (28.04.09) reports that the US Ambassador in Ankara, James Jeffrey, has been summoned to the Foreign Ministry where he listened to criticism over a Friday statement by President Barack Obama commemorating Armenians killed in the last days of the Ottoman Empire in Anatolia, officials said yesterday.

    Obama refrained from using the word genocide in his traditional message, in order not to harm a process of reconciliation ongoing between Turkey and Armenia, but called the events "one of the great atrocities of the 20th century" and used the Armenian phrase "Meds Yeghern" used to describe the events twice throughout the text. The term is commonly translated as "Big Calamity" and some analysts commented that using it was identical to using the word "genocide."

    Turkish leaders objected to Obama's statement, with President Abdullah Gul insisting the Turks, who perished at the hand of rioting Armenians should also be remembered and the Foreign Ministry, in a weekend statement, saying the statement's perception of history was "unacceptable" and appealing for an impartial study of the history.

    Mr Jeffrey was summoned to the Foreign Ministry headquarters on Saturday but no official protest has been conveyed. Turkish officials expressed "views, comments, assessments as well as the reaction" of Turkey during the meeting, officials said. Ankara denies claims that Armenians were subject to genocide at the hands of the late Ottoman Empire and says the killings occurred when Ottoman Empire tried to quell an Armenian revolt in cooperation with Russian forces then invading the eastern Anatolia.

    [08] International Defense Industry Fair opens in Istanbul

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.04.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    An international defense industry fair opened in the Turkish city of Istanbul on Monday.

    The International Defense Industry Fair (IDEF'09) was inaugurated at the TUYAP Fair, Convention and Congress Center in Istanbul.

    Our aim is to develop cost-efficient projects, and boost our cooperation in defense industry with representatives of our friend and ally countries, Turkish National Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul said during the opening ceremony.

    Gonul expressed his belief that countries would not only increase the welfare of their nations but also contribute to preserve international peace if resources were used efficiently.

    Delegations from 80 countries, more than 400 high-level officials, including 25 ministers, are participating in IDEF'09. 62 percent of the participating firms are foreign companies.

    Turkey is expected to sign agreements with Germany, Australia and Syria to cooperate in defense industry.

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, State Minister Egemen Bagis, commanders, and foreign guests participated in the opening ceremony.

    The fair will stay open till April 30.

    The fair has been held in the capital Ankara since 1993, however the organizer committee decided to organize it in Istanbul this year.

    Turkish Armed Forces Foundation is hosting the fair under the auspices of the Ministry of National Defense.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] Turkish Cypriot columnist: Even if we give title deeds, the reality that these properties belong to the Greek Cypriots is there and this reality will never leave us in peace

    Writing in Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (28.04.09), Turkish Cypriot columnist Ali Baturay assesses on the policy followed until today by the breakaway regime regarding the occupied Greek Cypriot properties and the effect of a possible negative or positive decision on the Orams case for the Turkish side. Under the title We cannot run away from the realities of the world, Mr Baturay criticizes the policy followed by the breakaway regime regarding the occupied Greek Cypriot properties and writes, inter alia, the following:

    Whatever happened to us until today, it happened because we thought that this piece of land where we live is the centre of the world. You are not recognized, they said to us and we thought that the international law will not come here. We thought that the property of the Greek Cypriots became ours, when the Greek Cypriots remained in the south and we in the north. As we said, we are not recognized and we thought that the Greek Cypriots will not search for their property rights. We started distributing the property of the Greek Cypriots and gave title deeds. We convinced ourselves that the title deeds given by the TRNC, which is not recognized by the world, are legal. Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes in this country was giving title deeds for the Greek Cypriot properties and making ITEM laws.

    Why should they not be given, they said, these properties, these lands are lands taken with blood, so they will be distributed and title deeds will be given for them. Let the Greek Cypriots come and ask for account, if they can! The Greek Cypriots had not rights any more on these properties. We were living here and we were the God of this place. Who would meddle with us?

    The Greek Cypriot administration, however, did not commit the same mistake. Even the fact that they are the side recognized by the world did not indulge the Greek Cypriot administration and they did not do what the Turkish side did, they did not give title deeds for the Turkish properties.

    Mr Baturay goes on and refers to the lawsuit filed against the British David and Linda Orams couple by the Greek Cypriot refugee Meletis Aposotlides, who accused the Orams of constructing a villa on his property in occupied Lapithos village. Mr Baturay notes:

    It is said that it would not be the end of the world, if a negative decision is taken. Of course the decision will not be the end of the world, even if it is negative. However, it will bring about bitter results for the Turkish side. It will not be the end of the world, but in a way, it will again fall like a bomb in the northern part of Cyprus.

    If the decision about the Orams is positive, it will of course be tantamount to a deep breath for northern Cyprus, but this problem will come before us in other platforms. Even if we give title deeds, the reality that these properties belong to the Greek Cypriots is there and this reality will never leave us in peace. There are the artificial TRNC realities and the realities of the world. We cannot run away from the realities of the world. .

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] From the Turkish media of 01 February 24 April 2009 on human rights violations and tortures in Turkey

    The following is a selection of Turkish media reports on various human rights issues covering the period 1 February-24 April 2009:

    Human rights violations, 2008

    On 20 March 2009, the website of the Human Rights Association, IHD, posts a report in Turkish on violations of human rights in Turkey in 2008. According to the press release pertaining to the report, human rights observers categorized the main human rights problems in terms of "fundamental human rights: military tutelage, deadlock in the Kurdish question, freedom of expression, freedom of religion and conscience, minority rights question, torture and right to life. In terms of democracy: political parties regime, law on election and regulations about local administration." The report reveals that, compared with 2007, there has been an increase in the number of deaths in clashes; in the number of arrests in public, political, or publishing institutes; in the number of people taken into custody; and in the number of banned or confiscated publications. Following is some statistics on various violations: A total of 33 persons were killed and another 45 were wounded for refusing to obey a warning to "stop" or as a result of illegitimate use of arms by security forces; eight people died and 448 were subjected to torture and ill-treatment while under custody; and 28 people, including 11 children, were killed by land mines or "unidentified explosives."

    Human rights violations in prisons, 2008

    On 6 February 2009, the official website of the IHD posts a summary table entitled "The Balance sheet of Human Rights violations of 2008 in prisons in Turkey." According to the table, 3,519 violations took place in different categories and 37 people lost their lives in prison in 2008. The categories of violations and the number of incidents are as follows:

    Categories of Violations1Torture and Ill-treatment3332Violation of Right to Health 4623Violation due to Nutrition, Heating, and Physical Conditions644Violations due to Disciplinary Proceedings1,6025Obstacles to Speaking and Communicating in Kurdish3236Violations in regard to Transferring Prisoners to Health Services/Institutions957Arbitrary Implementations (Prohibition of Books, Letters, etc...)3638The Circulation Numbered 45/1 and Its Implementation (Isolation)709Body Search, Problems in regard to Meeting With Family Members, Lawyers3910Other Violations168 Total number of applications3,519

    Torture

    On 1 March, NTV online, posts a report on Engin Ceber, a human rights activist who died while under custody on 10 October 2008. According to the report, four days before his death, Engin Ceber had written a letter describing the torture he was subjected to. His cellmate Ahmet Aksu reportedly hid the letter in his shoe and handed it to the Justice Ministry. The report quotes the letter, in which Ceber wrote that he and three other suspects were beaten and were refused medical examination.

    On 14 April, an editorial entitled "An important step in the struggle against torture" in Hurriyet Daily News.com, warmly lauds the Council of State for awarding a victim of torture compensation "to be collected from the perpetrators." Pointing out that the road to defeating torture is complex and difficult, the newspaper maintains that "education, training, and encouragement of a set of contemporary values are at the core of the solution." The editorial concludes: "This is just one example of the many steps that must be taken to eradicate torture from Turkish society. But it is one that sends a powerful message throughout the justice system."

    Reaction to the US human rights report

    Government's Reaction: On 1 March 2009, daily Taraf reports that Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in reply to a question on the 2008 US State Department Human Rights Report, which criticized Turkey for applying pressure on the media, said that such claims were put in the report as a result of an "international campaign" staged by the Dogan Media Group. He continued: "I will ask Hillary Clinton what kind of a report this is."

    On 8 March 2009, in a live interview on NTV, Foreign Minister Ali Babacan said: "The United States issues such reports about many countries annually. But, it was blown out of proportion because it worked to the advantage of a certain group here. The US State Department might have made a mistake as well. The report was not authored by Clinton. It was written by officials in the lower echelon. It should not be overstated. We should ask why it was overplayed this year unlike previous years. It is our desire to see that such reports are impartial and balanced. We can write reports about other countries because we can find certain things in their past."

    Media reaction: On 27 February 2009, daily Milliyet carries an unattributed report on Turkey's failings mentioned in the 2008 US State Department Human Rights Report. The Milliyet article lists the issues brought up in the US report, stressing the violations that appear for the first time in the report.

    Elcin Poyrazlar's report in Cumhuriyet on 26 February 2009 highlights the violations pertaining to the judicial system, the security forces, the struggle against corruption, and the freedom of press.

    Milliyet columnist Sedat Ergin criticizes the reactions of Prime Minister Erdogan and Foreign Minister Babacan to the US Human Rights Report on 6 March and 10 March 2009, respectively.

    On 12 March 2009, Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay, in turn, faults in his article the Dogan Media newspapers for failing to highlight the US criticism directed at the media conglomerates for building pressure against government policies.

    Children indicted on terrorism charges

    On 10 March 2009, BIANET posts a report by Erhan Ustundag entitled "Act now, cease trying children with terror charges." Ustundag reports that human rights activists "sent letters to the authorities demanding the immediate release of children who are tried with terror charges and that the principles of the juvenile justice system are put on to practice." Some 40 nongovernmental organizations support the request. According to the report, hundreds of children were put on trial on terrorism charges after the government amended the Counterterrorism Law, enabling courts to try children aged between 15 and 18 as adults. As a result, hundreds of children were prosecuted for being PKK members.

    On 17 March 2009, Anatolia Agency, AA, reports that 18 children, who stood trial for "committing a crime on behalf of a terrorist organization," were released. The children were taken into custody for staging a demonstration on 16 February 2008. Welcoming the verdict to release the children, the lawyer of one of the defendants pointed out, however, that the children were under arrest for 13 months.

    On 8 April, IHD's Adana branch posts a report on human rights violations in Adana Province in Jan-Mar 2009. The report particularly focuses on children's imprisonment and on torture. According to the report, Adana High Penal Courts "sentenced 33 children to a total of 129 years, 3 months and 15 days of imprisonment." The children were imprisoned on charges of "'making propaganda for a terrorist organization or its aims' and being a member of a terrorist organization."

    Police violence against child demonstrator

    BIANET posts a report entitled "Children's day in Hakkari: Rifle Butt beating" by Emine Ozcan, on 24 April. According to the report, a riot police officer chased and brutally beat with the rifle butt one of the children, who protested against the operations targeting the pro-Kurdish Democratic Society Party, DTP, in Hakkari. The 14-year-old child, Seyfi Turan, was wounded and taken to hospital in serious condition. Various television channels aired clips showing the police officer beating the child. An official statement was issued by the Hakkari governor, saying: "With sorrow we state that during illegal protests and stone-throwing at our security forces in several neighborhoods of our province capital around lunchtime on 23 April 2009, a security officer acted impulsively and injured a citizen during struggles near the Merzan neighborhood. The officer in question has been suspended and an investigation has been started."

    Media

    BIANET media monitoring report: On 16 March, BIANET posts a summary by Erol Onderoglu entitled "435 'Thought crimes' in Turkey in 2008," which highlights the main topics of the 113-page media monitoring report in Turkish that BIA compiled for 2008. According to the Onderoglu's summary, "a total of 435 journalists, writers, publishers, human rights activists, politicians, and children were taken to court in 2008 because of their opinions." The BIA Media monitoring report includes the following headings: "'Attacks and threats'; 'Detentions and arrests'; "'Press freedom and the freedom of expression in court'; 'Adjustments and seeking justice'; 'European Court of Human Rights'; 'Reactions to censorship'; and 'RTUK [Radio and Television High Council] practices'."

    Journalists attacked/Under arrest: On 10 March, BIANET posts a summary report by Erol Onderoglu on journalists who were "targeted and threatened." According to the report, the DTP sympathizers attacked three Show TV journalists while they were covering a DTP meeting in Adana on 7 March. Onderoglu also reports that AA and NTV reporters and a Haberturk cameraperson were assaulted "in Diyarbakir, during a protest to commemorate PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's arrest 10 years ago." Finally, Nationalist Action Party Deputy Akif Akkus "allegedly threatened" Cemal Dolasmaz, Tarsus Journalists' Society chair and editor-in-chief of local Merhaba, over the phone.

    BIANET also reports on 26 March that pro-Kurdish Dicle News Agency, DIHA, correspondent Abdurrahman Gok was arrested for "making propaganda in support of a terrorist organization." According to DIHA editor Devrim Goktas, who asked for Gok's release, the correspondent was covering the Nevruz festivities in Siirt. On 3 April, Erol Onderoglu provides an update on Gok's arrest, according to which Gok was subjected to "torture and mistreatment," and is still under arrest. Gok's lawyer asserts that he intends "to file a criminal complaint against those responsible."

    Furthermore, BIANET posts an unattributed report entitled "Reporter attacked in Giresun," on 30 March. According to the report, Firat Akyol, a local television station reporter, was attacked in front of the Justice and Development Party office while covering the reaction of party officials to local election results held on 29 March. The report adds that Akyol was taken to the hospital for suffering bruises on his face and head.

    Violations of human rights and minorities' rights in education

    Hurriyet Daily News.com carries an unattributed article on a report regarding the minorities' rights in education. The report was released by the Turkish branch of the London-based Minority Rights Group International. Accordingly, "education in mother tongue, access to education, and mandatory religion courses" are the major problems that minorities face in Turkey.

    A report by Bawer Cakir in BIANET on 16 March summarizes a book published by the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey, TIHV. The book details the findings of a project in which the TIHV monitored Turkish school books for human rights violations. A total of 139 primary and secondary school books, which had been revised in the last years to reflect changes in the curriculum, were examined for human rights violations. The TIHV report points out that "Turkish, Muslim, heterosexual male identities are glorified at the expense of other identities and nationalities" in the books, and adds that "concepts conce rning basic human rights are presented in a misleading manner or manipulated." The TIHV concludes that: "Traditions are shown as incompatible with a critical mind. When religion is described as a 'culture,' morality is reduced to religiosity."

    EG/


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