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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-05-18
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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. 90/09 16 18.05.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 Statements by Talat: The opening of the Limnitis crossing point will not be very beneficial for the TRNCTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.05.09) reports in its inside pages on statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat during his visit the day before yesterday to the peninsula of the occupied Karpassia. According to the paper, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat stated, inter alia, that the opening of the Limnitis crossing point will not be very beneficial for the occupied areas and that the basic benefit will be the access of Greek Cypriots to Lefkosia. As the paper writes, the above statements of Mr. Talat have caused the remarks that the Turkish Cypriot side is not willing enough on the issue of the opening of the gate. The paper goes further and writes that Talat stated that what they want is the recognition of the right to have free access to Erenkoy [Kokkina] and to have the right for the free transfer of fuel.
The paper reports also on statements made by Goksel Kabaran, muhtar of the occupied Limnitis village who stated, inter alia, the following: We want the opening of Limnitis crossing point very much. This will bring important benefits not only to our village but also to the Guzelyurt area [occupied Morfou], as well. Speaking during a TV program broadcast live on Saturday night by Kibris TV, the muhtar of occupied Limnitis stated also that they will have a meeting tomorrow with the President of the Greek Cypriot Administration, as he called President Demetris Christofias, in order to discuss this issue. He then said that they asked for a meeting with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and they were informed that he might meet them this week and that when the date of the meeting is determined, they will be informed.
 The UN Secretary General made a call for an immediate opening of the Limnitis crossing point without any other delayTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.05.09) under the title You should open it without any other delay reports on statements made by the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon. The paper writes that the UN Secretary General, Mr. Ban Ki-moon, stated regarding the Limnitis crossing point, which is known as Gunebakan, that it should open immediately without any other delay.
Mr. Ban expressed also his satisfaction regarding the peace process in Cyprus and made a call for the speeding up of the process in order to reach to a comprehensive solution.
The Secretary-General, who has submitted to the members of the Security Council the report regarding the extended mandate of the UN Peace Keeping Forces in Cyprus for six more months, stated that the two leaders are responsible to accelerate the negotiations.
The Secretary-General asked also for the opening of the Limnitis crossing point without delay and stressed that with the opening of this crossing point the communication between the North and the South will become easier.
Mr. Ban expressed also his satisfaction with the progress being achieved in the Committee on Missing Persons and pointed out that the de-mining of the buffer area constitutes an important confidence building measure. He then stated that the sides have carried out a positive and constructive negotiation process.
 Head of the Law Committee of TDP: We have to make legal reprisals to strengthen our hands in the political arenaIllegal Bayrak television (16.05.09) broadcast the following:
The European Court of Justices (ECJ) judgment on the Orams case is not in a form of recommendation, the Head of the Law Committee of the Communal Democracy Party (TDP), Baris Mamali says. Turkish Cypriots will get harmed from the current situation most, Mr Mamali warned.
At a press briefing yesterday, Baris Mamali stated that properties in the south, which were formerly owned by Turkish Cypriots who received equivalent properties in the North formerly owned by Greek Cypriots, can be sold with a courts verdict. Thus, the ECJ judgment is a concern to those receiving equivalent properties too, he said.
The ECJ said any verdict made by a Greek Cypriot court regarding an immoveable property in north Cyprus can be recognized and implemented in other EU member countries. This is not a recommendation and the British Court of Appeal does not have the authority to change such a judgment, Mamali said.
The Head of TDPs Law Committee went on to say that the ECJs judgment is not only a concern to foreigners owning Greek Cypriot properties in north Cyprus, but to all who own properties formerly owned by Greek Cypriots and he pointed to the fact that cases can be filed against Turkish Cypriots too.
Baris Mamali, however, said it is not possible to resolve the issue of property through individual cases.
Thats why the Cyprus negotiations should be maintained. We need to work harder towards a settlement, Mamali stressed.
Referring to some ways of struggling against the current disadvantageous situation, Mr Mamali underlined the need for strengthening the Turkish Cypriot hand in the political arena by making legal reprisals for Turkish Cypriots who had to leave their immoveable properties in South Cyprus as a result of the Cyprus problem.
 The Turkish Foreign Ministry on the European Court of Justice ruling on the Orams caseAnkara Anatolia news agency (15.05.09) reported the following from Ankara:Turkey rejected a decision by Europe's highest court for the return of land which remained in Turkish Cyprus after 1974 as hurting ongoing peace talks.
Attempts to hurt the peace process in Cyprus by individual court decisions, such as the Orams case, are unacceptable, Turkish Foreign Ministry said Friday in a statement.The ruling by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled in favor of a Greek Cypriot, Meletis Apostolides, who sued in 2004 in a Greek Cyprus court for the return of land his family abandoned after Turkey's military intervention in 1974.
By that time, the property in a village in Turkish Cyprus had been bought by a British couple, Linda and David Orams.
Cyprus Republic' does not exist anymore as a partnership state which was founded in 1960, and the Greek Cypriots do not have any jurisdiction over Turkish Cypriots nor authority to represent the entire island, the statement said.The heart of the Orams case was whether the decision given by a Greek court was applicable in the United Kingdom, referring to all other EU-member states. The British High Court applied to the ECJ on the grounds that the final decision would affect all similar cases in the member states of the EU.
ECJ's ruling implied Greek Cypriot judiciary had also authority in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the decisions to be made by Greek Cypriot judiciary should be implemented in all EU countries.
 Cemal Bulutoglulari stated that the construction of an eight storey Shopping Center in occupied Lefkosia will bring to an end the shopping activities in the free areas of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (18.05.09) reports that the procedure for the construction of an eight- storey commercial center which is included in the projects of the Municipality of occupied Lefkosia for 2009 which is planned to be built in occupied Lefkosia, is in its final stage. According to the statement made by the self-styled Municipality of occupied Lefkosia, all the works for the Shopping Centre, Hotel and Residence Project which is planned to be constructed in the Yenisehir area [occupied Neapoli], in occupied Lefkosia, have been concluded and the works for the construction of the Shopping center will start soon.
According to the paper, the new shopping center will be constructed in a 47.000 square meters of land and will consist of eight storeys. The shopping center will consist of a two level parking, shopping centers, restaurants, bars, hotel rooms and a pool and will offer the opportunity to its visitors not only to do shopping but also to enjoy other social activities.
In his statements regarding the project, the self-styled mayor of occupied Lefkosia, Mr. Cemal Bulutoglulari has stated, inter alia, that the construction of the Shopping Center will bring to an end the shopping activities in the Greek Cypriot side, since it will consist of big shopping centers which will offer high quality brands at good prices.
 Cyprus among the issues discussed by Erdogan and Putin. Bilateral trade over 35 billion U.S. dollarsAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.05.09) reported the following from Sochi:
Prime ministers of Turkey and Russia held a joint press conference following their talks in the Russian city of Sochi on Saturday.
During the press conference, Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan pointed to the importance of the regional cooperation between Turkey and Russia, and said that the two countries had certain responsibilities in their region.
We have to take some steps to provide peace and happiness in our region. These steps include the Upper Karabakh issue between Azerbaijan and Armenia, the Middle East issue and the developments regarding Cyprus, Erdogan said.Commenting on Turkish-Russian relations, Erdogan said that the trade volume between the two countries exceeded 35 billion USD as of the end of 2008.Noting that Turkey has become a popular destination for Russian tourists, Erdogan said energy was another important cooperation area between the countries.Erdogan said activities regarding Blue Stream continued, moreover, ways to get electrical energy from Russia was an issue discussed by the officials of the two countries.Speaking at the conference, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin said that petroleum, gas, electricity and atomic energy were the prior issues in Turkish-Russian relations.
Regarding his talks with Erdogan, Putin said regional and international matters were discussed during their meeting and the two countries had a common opinion on many issues.
Upon a question on the Karabakh issue, Putin said that Turkey and Russia desired an immediate solution on this matter and they were ready to extend all the necessary support.
 Masum Turker becomes new chairman of DSPAnkara Anatolia news agency (18.05.09) reports from Ankara that Masum Turker was elected as the new chairman of the Democratic Left Party (DSP) on Sunday. Turker won 431 out of 837 votes while Zeki Sezer won 375 and Alemdar Yalcin 20 votes. Sezer was the former chairman of the party. Masum Turker was a former state minister on economy of the 57th government.
 Husamettin Cindoruk was elected General Chairman of the Democrat PartyAnkara Anatolia news agency (16.05.09) reported from Ankara that Husamettin Cindoruk was elected general chairman of the Democrat Party (DP) with the votes of 559 delegates at the party's 5th special Grand Convention.
After Suleyman Soylu and Mehmet Ali Bayar withdrew their candidacies after the second round of voting, Cindoruk ran as sole candidate for the general chairmanship of the party in the third round of voting.
Cindoruk was elected general chairman after winning the valid 559 of the 570 votes cast [in the third round].
 Orhan Pamuk may face new trial over remarks on Armenian genocideTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (18.05.09) reports that Orhan Pamuk, Turkey's Nobel Prize-winning author, has said he may face new compensation claims for remarks he made about the World War I-era killing of Armenians, despite an earlier acquittal in a criminal trial.
The Supreme Court of Appeals last week overturned a lower court decision that had dismissed claims of personal damages against Pamuk, 56, paving the way for a new case. "I understand that I could be tried again, but nothing is certain," said Pamuk, who was speaking at a book fair in the Italian city of Torino, on Saturday. "In any case, I'm not worried."
The compensation suit stemmed from an interview with a Swiss magazine in 2005 when Pamuk said that "30,000 Kurds and a million Armenians were killed" in Turkey. Turkey denies Armenians were systematically killed between 1915 and 1923, saying that both sides suffered losses in internecine fighting during the breakup of the Ottoman Empire.
The interview sparked a criminal case, but Pamuk was cleared of all charges and avoided a jail sentence on a technicality in 2006 amid an international outcry over the trial, which the European Union called a violation of free expression. The author of "Snow" and "My Name Is Red" went on to win the 2006 Nobel Prize for Literature.
The civil suit's six plaintiffs, who seek TL 36,000 in damages, include members of a support group for families of soldiers killed fighting with outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) terrorists and a nationalist lawyer who brought the criminal case against Pamuk, the Radikal newspaper said. "Unfortunately, the judiciary in my country concerns itself with political [issues]," Pamuk said. "This is not a good thing when legal institutions are supposed to be the foundation for democracy. Without freedom, there is no justice, so I think speaking freely is my duty."
 Turkish Health Ministry confirms second swine flue caseAnkara Anatolia news agency (17.05.09) reported that the Turkish Health Ministry confirmed the second swine flu case in the country on Saturday, after "Influenza A/H1N1" virus was detected on the mother of the infected U.S. passenger who was caught by thermal cameras at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport due to his high fever on Thursday.
None of the other relatives of the passenger were infected by the virus, the health ministry said in a written statement.
The infected passenger and his mother were isolated before contacting any other individuals at the airport and they are currently under treatment, the statement added.
Health Ministry also said that most of the travelers on the infected passenger's plane have been contacted and none of these passengers were affected by the virus.
"These people are currently under preventive medication," the ministry said.
The ministry also reiterated its call to the passengers of Dutch Airlines company KLM's May 14 dated flight from Amsterdam to Istanbul with the flight number 1613 and asked them to contact officials immediately by calling the emergency line "112".
Swine flu was detected on a passenger who arrived in Istanbul from USA to transfer a flight to Iraq on May 14, officials said on Saturday. The passenger first traveled from USA to Amsterdam, then transferred to a flight to Istanbul from the Dutch capital and was planning to proceed to Iraq.
Thermal cameras at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport detected that the passenger had high fever and tests run by national flu laboratories proved that the passenger was carrying the "Influenza A/H1N1" virus.
The passenger's mother was also diagnosed with the same disease. The infected passengers are currently under treatment at a hospital in Istanbul.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 Columnist assesses the role of Davutoglu in Syrias relations with Turkey. He is to meet Hilary Clinton and her staff this weekIstanbul Sabah newspaper (17.05.09) publishes the following column by Erdal Safak under the title Between the lines:
The schedule of the Foreign Minister, Professor Ahmet Davutoglu, is such as to make one's head spin. It has only been 10 days since he took his oath in the National Assembly and took office. And in this 10 days, he visited six countries: the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus], the Czech Republic, the United States (for the Middle East session at the UN Security Council), Azerbaijan, Sweden (exchange of views prior to the EU term presidency that will begin in July), and Syria...
He will set out once again on Monday: He will take part in the meeting of the Turkey-EU Partnership Council in Brussels. That will be followed by another visit to Syria. And afterwards, the United States again. This time, he will meet in Washington with US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her staff. Just prior to the US visit of Israeli Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu. Davutoglu has gone to Damascus 30 times in six years. Next week, he will be in Damascus for the 31st time. A portion of the 30th trip was an open visit, while a portion was a secret mission. The most-remembered and most-discussed of these Syria visits took place last September. When French President Nicolas Sarkozy went to the Sha'ab Palace in order to meet with President Bashar al-Asad, a person who could be considered a "semi-host" met him there: Davutoglu!
A very special friendship has developed between Davutoglu and Bashar al-Asad. It was indeed for this reason that during that visit, in which I took part as well, after the private meeting between President Abdullah Gul and Bashar al-Asad, and afterwards the discussions between the delegations were completed, the agreements signed, and the press statements made, Davutoglu remained behind when the Turkish side departed from the Presidential Palace: in order to have a one-on-one assessment of the situation with Al-Asad. Afterwards, at a very late hour in the night, in a meeting that lasted for approximately two hours, he related the contents and results of that quite lengthy discussion to President Gul. And after that, he spoke in his room with us journalists, who were following the trip. That took almost another hour and a half. When we returned to our rooms at 0300 hours, he had begun to pack his bags: in order to get on the road again at the crack of dawn...
Why does Turkey ascribe this much importance to Syria? Why, even in a period in which the Al-Asad regime has been subjected to international isolation, and even at the price of falling afoul of the United States and the EU, have visits from Ankara to Damascus not lessened?
In light of the information obtained in discussions both with Davutoglu and with Foreign Ministry personnel, we can answer this question as follows:
- Turkey and Syria are not just any two neighboring countries: Syria is, first of all, the battering-ram of Turkey's southern policies. In a geography extending from the shores of the Eastern Mediterranean to the Gulf of Basra, all roads absolutely - absolutely - pass through Syria. This is the geographical reality of the matter.
- There are also sociological realities: The 900-kilometer Turkish-Syrian border constitutes one of the most porous international lines in the world. Because of the geographical continuity. Additionally, families have one half living on one side and the other half living on the other side. They continually go back and forth to one another. On holidays, for weddings, for funerals... Just consider: The distance between Gaziantep and Aleppo is essentially the same as that between Gaziantep and Sanliurfa.
- And finally, one end of all the knotty issues in the Middle East are in Damascus: peace between Israel and Palestine, between Israel and Syria, between Israel and Lebanon, and between Israel and the Arabs, as well as compromise among the Palestinians, the Iraq issue, internal peace in Lebanon, and even the Iranian nuclear crisis: If the Damascus regime does not provide a hand, and a free path, they cannot be resolved.
The West's isolation has backfired
And for that reason, and in particular following the assassination of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri (2005), when Turkey was called upon to close the border and provide support to the isolation of Syria, Ankara gave its Western interlocutors the following response: "Fine, let us isolate Syria. Iraq is also isolated, by the United States. And Iran as well is likewise under isolation by the international community. And we are imposing isolation in Armenia as well. The tiny Georgian border remains as the only open door. Does this not in fact mean, when we say 'let us isolate Syria,' the isolation of Turkey? Does this not mean thwarting Turkey's opening to the Middle East?"
Thanks to this realistic, sound, and justified rationale, Turkey was able to continue its relations with Syria during that difficult period. And the friendship that began on 4 January 2003 with the visit to Damascus of [then] Prime Minister Abdullah Gul, which is accepted to have been a turning point in the relations between the two countries (all the members of the Syrian cabinet met Gul and his delegation at the airport on that visit), has grown a bit stronger with every contact, and today it has turned into a close and healthy bond of brotherhood.
Because during that period of isolation, Syria's only breathing hole was Turkey. Later, in time, the West as well saw that the policies it was pursuing were wrong, and understood that the isolation was pushing Damascus into the embrace of Teheran. And Turkey's Syria policies began to be accepted as an example, and even a model. The United States, when [President] Barack Obama came into office, set out to revise its policies toward Syria. In the days ahead, we will all see together the concrete results of this change.
The United States is essentially going through a period of questioning all of its Middle East policies, and not just those toward Syria. It is preparing to make fundamental changes in its stances and its choices regarding the countries and the problems of the region. It is beginning to put some distance between itself and Israel, and from time to time to take a stance against it, or at least it is not avoiding criticizing it openly, are the advance messages of this.
It is possible to interpret or read this change as follows from Ankara's standpoint: Turkey has not gone onto the United States' line; rather, the United States has come onto Turkey's line. This is the matter in summary.
 From the Turkish Press of 15, 16 and 17 May 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 15, 16 and 17 May 2009:
a) Turkeys relations with Syria:
In an article entitled "Greetings from Damascus," in Sabah (16.05.09) columnist Erdal Safak who is one of the journalists covering Turkish President Abdullah Gul's visit to Syria expresses his hope that the visit will contribute to efforts to avert two impending conflicts which may lead to tragic consequences in the Middle East, including a new showdown between Israel and the Arab countries and a possible nuclear war between Iran and Israel and the United States. He says: "It is certain that Turkey cannot untangle this ball of yarn without support to be given by Iran, Syria, and Israel." Safak notes that Erdogan's upcoming visit to Teheran and Gul's visit to Israel in the summer will constitute new steps in that process.
In an article entitled "Syria: From a possible war to best friendship," in Zaman (17.05.09) columnist Mustafa Unal, who covered Turkish President Abdullah Gul's visit to Syria, writes that a new chapter has begun in Turkish-Syrian relations after overcoming mutual distrust and enmity. Pointing out that bilateral relations between the two countries move forward in all fields, Unal says that Syrian President Bashar al-Asad formulates policies in line with developments taking place in the rest of the world. He comments: "It was not easy to reach this point. The West, especially the United States raised objections. But, it did not deter Turkey from pursuing a policy which it believed was right. It made progress, albeit at a slow pace. Developments vindicated Turkey's stance. The United States and Europe now share Turkey's opinions about Syria."
b) Turkish EU relations:
In an article entitled "Davutoglu's response to Merkel and Sarkozy," in Hurriyet Daily News (15.05.09) columnist Mehmet Ali Birand says that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu strongly emphasized during a dinner with the ambassadors of EU-member countries that accession to the EU still remains to be Turkey's number one priority and that Turkey would not accept any other alternative, including "privileged partnership."
In an article entitled The future is not for Sarkozy or Merkel to decide," in Milliyet (15.05.09) columnist Semih Idiz criticizes French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel for making proposals designed to delay or prevent Turkey's accession to the EU due to reasons connected with politics in their countries. He says: ""Elections equals cheap populism equals easy targets equals hit at Turkey" approach is too transparent to be taken very seriously."
Under the headline, "Be honest," Yeni Safak (15.05.09) publishes a front-page report which highlights Prime Minister Erdogan's "sharp messages" to French and German leaders Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel over their latest objections to Turkey's EU membership bid. Erdogan has criticized Sarkozy and Merkel for making an "inappropriate" political maneuver linked to the European Parliament and German elections, the report says.
In an article entitled "Human beings cannot accept everything," in Hurriyet (16.05.09) columnist Mehmet Yilmaz argues that German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statement that "there is no place for Turkey in the EU" can only be explained by racism. He comments: "Of course we are aware that Turkey cannot join the EU with its present social and economic system. But, there are agreements signed and promises made. Turkey can join the EU by exercising rights arising from those agreements when it eventually manages to change its conditions."
In an article entitled "You cannot play another card game in a Bridge Club," in Milliyet (16.05.09) columnist Hasan Cemal highlights reasons cited by German and French leaders for opposing Turkey's accession to the EU mainly due to Turkey's shortcomings in the fields of democracy, civil freedoms and human rights. He asks: "Are they wrong? Are we doing what we have to do? Are we moving on a path that would show that reasons and pretexts cited by Merkel and Sarkozy are implausible?"
In an article entitled "'There is a place for Turkey in the EU,'" in Milliyet (16.05.09) columnist Semih Idiz highlights an interview with visiting Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva about Turkey's bid to join the EU. He quotes Silva as saying: "There is a place for Turkey in the EU as far as Portugal is concerned. What is important is to overcome obstacles to accession negotiations and to find a middle way for opening chapters which have been frozen."
Under the headline, "EU says military should not speak beyond its remit," Today's Zaman (16.05.09) carries a front-page report which asserts that the EU is "preparing to tell Turkey that the military still has powers that are not in line with European standards and that the top brass often speaks on issues that are beyond their remit."
c) Nabucco Project:
In an article entitled "Turkey has got important concessions in Nabucco," in Milliyet (15.05.09) columnist Metin Munir quotes an expert as saying that Turkey and the EU have not reached a final agreement on the Nabucco pipeline project aimed at conveying Caspian natural gas to Europe. The same expert noted: "All technical issues have been resolved. Turkey prepared its legal infrastructure and convinced the EU to accept it. What is missing is a political decision. Turkey must make that decision and invite the parties concerned to Ankara in order to sign the agreement. Otherwise, there will be no agreement." Munir points out that the EU accepted Turkey's proposals to sell natural gas which it purchases to Europe via a gas hub to be established near Ankara and to use the pipeline also to convey natural gas from Europe to Asia in order to reduce its dependence on Russian natural gas.
In an article entitled "Secret trump cards," in Sabah (15.05.09) columnist Erdal Safak points out that countries which support the Nabucco project have not played their trump cards against the rival South Stream project despite recent developments indicating that the latter had gained advantage over the former. Pointing out that Turkmenistan's decision will be of vital importance for both projects, Safak adds that Iran, which is excluded from the Nabucco project, may eventually be allowed to join depending on future developments. He says: "Ankara has another weapon which it has not mentioned before: Italian strategy. Berlusconi supports both Nabucco and South Stream. Why should not Turkey be a partner in both projects? Furthermore, why should not it use its possible involvement in the South Stream as a bargaining chip for convincing the West to permit Iran to participate in the Nabucco project? Erdogan's upcoming visits to Sochi and Teheran may uncork many surprises."
In an article entitled "Too many questions in the Nabucco project," in Hurriyet Daily News (16.05.09) columnist Gila Benmayor says that there have been encouraging developments in the Nabucco pipeline project, adding that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent visit to Azerbaijan was a critical step in efforts to build the pipeline.