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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-05-21

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. 93/09 21.05.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Statements by Ercakica on the latest developments in Cyprus during his weekly press conference
  • [02] Ozgurgun to attend the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers meeting in Damascus
  • [03] Jasmine Movement to continue operating in the political scene of the breakaway regime
  • [04] Nick Clegg: The solution of the Cyprus problem is a precondition for Turkeys accession to the EU
  • [05] Statements in Athens by Alexander Downer on the Cyprus problem
  • [06] Davutoglu to attend OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting in Damascus
  • [07] Bagis argues that the EU negotiation process in not all about opening chapters
  • [08] Slovenian, Ukrainian and Brazilian Heads of State in Turkey
  • [09] The French Embassy in Ankara separates Turkish-Armenian relations from Upper Karabakh dispute
  • [10] Armenias former foreign minister says relations with Turkey may get worse
  • [11] Sri Lankas President made a phone call to his Turkish counterpart
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] Columnist comments that the Turkish PM Erdogan did not make a congratulatory phone call to Eroglu after his election win
  • [13] From the Turkish Press of 20 May 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Statements by Ercakica on the latest developments in Cyprus during his weekly press conference

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.05.09) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Spokesman Hasan Ercakica has said that the two leaders could be wrapping up discussions on the economy chapter when they meet tomorrow.

    He said that the two leaders will be reviewing the work carried out on the issue by their special representatives whom they had delegated to work out the details.

    Ercakica also said that the Turkish Cypriot side has done its part for the opening of a crossing point at Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis].

    Speaking during his weekly press briefing today, the Presidential Spokesman touched on the latest developments concerning the ongoing negotiations process.

    Ercakica said that there was a chance that the two leaders could be completing preliminary discussions on the economy chapter when they meet tomorrow and announced decisions regarding the remaining issues.

    Touching upon visits abroad by Greek Cypriot officials, Ercakica complained that the Greek Cypriot leadership continued to distort the realities on the island during its foreign visits. Both Mr. Christofias and his Foreign Minister Marcos Kyprianou are in an effort to portray the image that there is a problem between Turkey and the Greek Cypriot side, he added.

    He said one could easily see the threats the current talks faced by looking at the Greek Cypriot leaderships ongoing attempts to manipulate Turkeys EU membership, its efforts to establish Turkey as its collocutor and to maintain the isolation of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    Drawing attention to the fact that the Cyprus Problem was on top of the Turkish EU Partnership councils agenda, Ercakica reminded that the Swedish Foreign Minister who will be taking on the EU term Presidency had described the Cyprus Issue as the biggest problem for the EU.

    The Presidential Spokesman also pointed out that recent developments such as the ECJs judgment on the Orams case showed that the EU had lost its capacity to play a positive role in the Cyprus Problem, despite all the strenuous efforts and good will put forward by the Swedish Foreign Minister.

    Responding to a question on the opening of a crossing point in Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] Ercakica said that the Turkish Cypriot side has fulfilled its obligations towards the opening of a crossing point.

    Access to Erenkoy [occupied Kokkina] should be eased if Pyrgos isolation is to end he said, adding that the Turkish Cypriot side was ready to open a crossing point in the area.

    Reminding that the inhabitants of Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] and Pyrgo had met with both President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, Ercakica said that another meeting was scheduled in the coming days.

    Pointing out that fuel could not be classified as ammunition, Ercakica said that there were no tanks or armored vehicles stationed in the small enclave and that the fuel was only used for generators and small transport vehicles.

    He also said that they had yet to receive an official offer from the Greek Cypriot side to supply electricity to the village.

    Asked to comment about the impact of the government crisis in the south on the talks, the Presidential Spokesman said that they were following the developments closely.

    [02] Ozgurgun to attend the 36th OIC Foreign Ministers meeting in Damascus

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.05.09) broadcast the following:

    Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun is in Ankara for talks with Turkish officials.

    Mr. Ozgurgun was invited by his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu.

    Mr. Ozgurgun will embark on his contact in the Turkish capital tomorrow with a visit to Anitkabir the mausoleum of founder of Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

    During his stay in Ankara, the Minister will hold discussions with President Abdullah Gul, Minister of State and Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    It will be the first foreign visit by Huseyin Ozgurgun after being appointed as Foreign Minister.

    After completing his contacts in the capital, Mr. Ozgurgun will move on to Damascus to attend the 36th meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC).

    [03] Jasmine Movement to continue operating in the political scene of the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.05.09) reports that Ulker Fahri, spokesman of the Jasmine Movement stated yesterday to a program broadcast live by local channel Kibris TV that the movement they established in cooperation with the United Cyprus Party (BKP) prior to the general elections will continue to operate. Fahri stated also that they have realized that Turkish Cypriots need the Jasmine Movement to continue operating and added the following: We are discussing how the Jasmine Movement can be supported in the future. At the moment we examine how the relations of the National Unity Party (UBP) government with a president which comes from the Republican Turkish Party will be. Our works continue, we decelerated for a while, however, we continue.

    Ulker Fahri went on and criticized the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat by saying that there is a big difference between the present Talat and Talat during the period he was leader of CTP. Asked to reply to the question Is it Talat who changed or it is the conditions which changed Talat? Mr. Fahri said: It is the position which made him change.

    Mr. Fahri stated also that during May and June 2008, Talat and the leader of the Greek Cypriot Administration, as he called President Christofias, agreed to sit to negotiations on the basis of two federal statlets and that the basis of the solution would be the Cyprus Republic with one citizenship and one sovereignty. He then said that after Talat went to Turkey, he started talking about virgin birth and two states.

    Mr. Fahri underlined also the need for the Turkish Cypriots to decide whether they want to become members of the EU and hold a place in the world family arguing that the occupation regime has spent more money than the Greek Cypriots for lobbying activities.

    (AK)

    [04] Nick Clegg: The solution of the Cyprus problem is a precondition for Turkeys accession to the EU

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.05.09) reports on the statements of Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the UK who has stated during a visit he paid to the Alevi Cultural Center in London that the solution of the Cyprus problem is a precondition for Turkeys accession to the EU. Mr. Clegg stated also that his country supported from the beginning Turkeys EU membership. Referring to the statements of the President of France, Mr. Nicolas Sarkozy the previous week that the EU should draw up a borderline that will leave Turkey outside the EU, Mr. Clegg said that he felt sad with this statement. He then said that this approach is completely wrong adding the following: Of course, there is a long way for Turkey to become a full member of the EU. The solution of the Cyprus problem is a precondition in order to achieve this. However, the door of the EU should remain open for Turkey.

    (AK)

    [05] Statements in Athens by Alexander Downer on the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.05.09) reported the following from Athens:

    The UN Secretary-General's special advisor for Cyprus, Alexander Downer said certain issues were solved, but there was still long way to go in the ongoing extensive talks in Cyprus.

    Speaking to reporters following his meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Theodora Bakoyianni, Downer said he was cautiously optimistic about the success of the extensive talks in Cyprus.

    Downer pointed out that the momentum of the process should be kept alive noting that the Cyprus issue which had been going on for years following the tragic events of the past was not so easy to solve.

    Answering a question on whether the outcome of the recent elections in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would change the position of Turkish Cypriot President Talat, Downer said that Talat is still the negotiator of the Turkish Cypriot side. He said that the Turkish Cypriot side accepted a federative solution based on a bi-zonal state with two politically equal communities.

    When asked about whether Turkish officials mentioned Turkey's red lines regarding the guarantorship issue, Downer said he got the impression that both Turkish and Greek Cypriots in the island wanted insurance noting that politicians should exert efforts to this end.

    Downer also met with Foreign Minister of Turkey, Ahmet Davutoglu and Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Ertugrul Apakan earlier this week and exchanged views on the extensive talks process.

    Downer is set to get together with Greek Foreign Ministry officials in Athens after departing from Turkey.

    [06] Davutoglu to attend OIC Foreign Ministers Meeting in Damascus

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.05.09) reported from Ankara that Turkey will participate in a foreign ministers meeting of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said on Wednesday.

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu would represent Turkey in the 36th session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers in the Syrian capital of Damascus on May 23-25, a ministry statement said.

    Participants of the meeting will discuss regional and international issues concerning the geography of the OIC.

    Davutoglu is expected to have bilateral meetings with his counterparts on the sidelines of the meeting.

    [07] Bagis argues that the EU negotiation process in not all about opening chapters

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (21.05.09) under its front-page title, Turkey did not hold its chapter target, caries a report by its correspondent in Brussels, Mr Guven Ozalp, where he defends that Turkey, which aimed at opening at least two chapters in its EU negotiations during the Czech EU Presidency, missed its targets. While Turkey might end up opening no chapters during Czech EU Presidency, Turkeys Chief Negotiator, Mr Egemen Bagis, is working on the view that the negotiation process in not all about opening chapters.

    (EA)

    [08] Slovenian, Ukrainian and Brazilian Heads of State in Turkey

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (21.05.09) under the title, Three leaders in 24 hours, reports that Turkey, which in the last months follows an intensive foreign policy, on Wednesday welcomed three more leaders. Slovenian President Danilo Turk arrived yesterday noon in Ankara. In addition, the President of Ukraine arrived in Turkey to watch the final match game of UEFA and held a meeting in Istanbul with the Greek Orthodox Archbishop Bartholomew. Another guest was Brazils legendary leader Luiz Inacio Lula Da Silva, who arrived in Istanbul for a three-day formal visit as guest of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul.

    According to the paper, Mr Lula is the first Brazilian head of state ever to visit Turkey. Mr Lula is accompanied by the Brazilian Foreign Minister and the Development Industry and Foreign Trade Minister. Formal meeting will be held today in Ankara and main issues of discussion will be the bilateral relations of Brazil and Turkey, regional and international issues. In addition, an agreement is expected to be signed between TPAO and PetroBras, in the presence of the two Presidents, for the launching of oil and natural gas drilling activities in the Black Sea.

    (EA)

    [09] The French Embassy in Ankara separates Turkish-Armenian relations from Upper Karabakh dispute

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.05.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    The French Embassy in Ankara separated Turkish-Armenian relations from the Upper Karabakh dispute.

    The French Embassy in Ankara released a statement and said that normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations and solution of Upper Karabakh disputes were two separate processes.

    Normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations and the solution of Upper Karabakh dispute are two separate processes that should be parallel to each other but should progress on their own, the embassy said.

    The statement came after the visit of Bernard Fassier, the French co-chairman of the Minsk Group of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), to Turkey.

    Fassier visited Turkey on Monday and met Ertugrul Apakan, the undersecretary of Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as part of efforts to find a peaceful solution to Upper Karabakh, a territory under Armenian occupation.

    OSCE is currently acting as a mediator for the peaceful solution of the Upper Karabakh issue.

    The embassy said that France was supporting and encouraging the rapprochement between Turkey and Armenia, and at the same time it was determined to work together with the U.S. and Russian co-chairmen of the Minsk Group to find a fair and sustainable solution to Upper Karabakh dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan.

    In its statement, the embassy said that any progress to be made in either normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations or the solution of Upper Karabakh dispute would be a positive step for the entire region.

    The embassy also said that normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations, particularly regarding the Upper Karabakh dispute, would have a positive impact on settlement of ongoing conflicts in the region.

    [10] Armenias former foreign minister says relations with Turkey may get worse

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (21.05.09) reports the following:

    Vartan Oskanian, Armenia's minister of foreign affairs from 1998 until April 2008, has said Turkey and Armenia will not be able to make progress in their efforts to normalize relations if Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan brings the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute between Azerbaijan and Armenia to the table, noting that relations may even get worse if Turkish officials start to politicize issues such as Armenian workers in Turkey.

    The moment we leave Karabakh out, we can improve Turkish-Armenian relations. If we bring Karabakh in, I really don't see this happening. Karabakh is a separate issue. My conviction is that if Turkey normalizes its relations with Armenia first, then the Karabakh solution will be much easier, he said, speaking to a group of Turkish journalists this week.

    Oskanian said he first heard Erdogan bringing the Nagorno-Karabakh dispute to the forefront three months ago.

    Until that time, I was really hoping that there was a change of policy on the part of Turkey and we would get results, he said in response to questions from a group of journalists who are in Yerevan for the International Hrant Dink Foundation's Turkey-Armenia Journalist Dialogue Project, funded by the Heinrich Boll Stiftung Association.

    Following talks with Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev in Baku, Erdogan said last week that Azerbaijan's sensitivity about Nagorno-Karabakh was Turkey's sensitivity, too. Erdogan said Turkey had closed its border gates with Armenia because Nagorno-Karabakh was occupied and that it would be impossible to reopen the gates as long as the occupation continues. He also said the Minsk Group (co-chaired by the US, Russia and France) should speed up the negotiations on the issue, which have been continuing for 18 years.

    On the other hand, Armenian leaders have been criticizing Erdogan for making the normalization of ties with Armenia conditional on a settlement in Nagorno-Karabakh.

    Oskanian also said Erdogan's remark about Armenians working in Turkey was not helpful.

    The prime minister had said recently that Turkey could send the Armenians who work in Turkey without the necessary permits back to their home country. Some Armenians who are feeling the pressure of the economic crisis have come to Turkey in the hope of landing a job after obtaining non-immigrant tourist visas at the border and simply overstay their visas after being hired for jobs such as babysitting, cleaning and seasonal work.

    I am beginning to be concerned that not only will Turkish-Armenian relations not improve, but they may even get worse, said Oskanian, who had served during the administration of former Armenian President Robert Kocharian. He is the founder of the Yerevan-based Civilitas Foundation, which advocates peace and stability in the Caucasus through multifaceted dialogue and promotes democratization.

    Oskanian argued that the normalization of Turkish-Armenian relations would make the Caucasus coalesce into a functional region.

    [11] Sri Lankas President made a phone call to his Turkish counterpart

    Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (21.05.09) under its front-page title, The how-we-eradicated-terrorism call to Gul, reports that following his victory over Tamil Tigers, Sri Lankas President Mahinda Rajapaksa called his Turkish counterpart Abdullah Gul. Mr Rajapaksa had paid a visit to Turkey in December and held discussions about the separatist terrorism.

    In a phone conversation with Mr Rajapaksa, Mr Gul expressed his pleasure over Sri Lankas victory over the terrorist organisation Tamil Tigers whose leaders have been killed. Mr Gul also said that Turkey is ready to send humanitarian aid to the Sri Lankan people. As the paper writes, at their meeting in December, Mr Gul said that both countries suffer a lot from terrorism. In response to Mr Gul, Mr Rajapaksa said: There is no such thing as a good terrorist or a bad terrorist. All terrorists are bad.

    (EA)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] Columnist comments that the Turkish PM Erdogan did not make a congratulatory phone call to Eroglu after his election win

    Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (21.05.09) carries a commentary by Metin Munir from occupied Lefkosia. In his commentary Mr Munir comments that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan did not make a congratulatory telephone call to the newly elected Dervis Eroglu after the illegal early elections in occupied Cyprus.

    As Mr Munir writes, it is in the established practice of diplomacy to congratulate a newly elected president or prime minister as a rule of courtesy routine. In what way and how fast it is done shows the closeness of the relations. For example, when the Prime Minister of Armenia was elected a telegram was sent to him one day after and right after the election of the President of Azerbaijan a telephone call was made. Right after the announcement of the election results in the TRNC a congratulatory telegram was sent by the Foreign Ministry in the name of Erdogan. At the time it was said: If you make a call it would be good. Because this will be a consistency in the established practice with the TRNC, Mr Munir writes. However, although President Gul, former President Demirel and opposition leader Baykal made a telephone call to Mr Eroglu right after the announcement of the election results, Mr Erdogan did not.

    The columnist goes on under the subtitle, Eroglu lost his trust, and writes that Eroglu, who is from the school of thought of Denktas, is a conservative and nationalist politician. On the issue of the solution to the Cyprus problem, his views are much closer to Denktas than to the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat and Erdogan. Mr Munir writes: Eroglu, just like many Turks who were slapped after the Greek Cypriot veto to the Anan Plan, lost his faith in the solution. He does not trust Talat, as well. On the other hand, Erdogan and Talat want to find any kind of solution and put an end to this. Eroglu is aware that it is difficult to continue to rule in Lefkosia without having good relations with Ankara. Upon winning the election, he changed the rhetoric and he stated that he will be in harmony with the AKP. However, as the columnist writes, it appears that this was not enough for Erdogan, who showed his dissatisfaction with the election of Eroglu, by remaining silent towards him. He [Erdogan] wanted to say to Eroglu: I am the boss and I do not like to be opposed. Understand this and obey.

    By this silence, he also gave a message to the Greek Cypriots: I know that you are worried about the election of Eroglu. Be relaxed. What happens is what I say, not what he says. The negotiations will continue in exactly the same way. According to Mr Munir, maybe Erdogan only wanted to bring Eroglu to line, but at the same time, he humiliated the TRNC. Eroglu got the vote of confidence and expects to be invited to Ankara by Erdogan.

    (EA)

    [13] From the Turkish Press of 20 May 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 20 May 2009:

    Allegations on Guls involvement in forgery:

    In a column in Istanbul Cumhuriyet, Ilhan Selcuk argues that President Abdullah Gul is a suspect in what has come to be known as the "missing trillions case" in Turkey. He recalls that a lawsuit was filed against the Welfare Party headed by Necmettin Erbalan in the past and some of the leading party members were sent to prison for forging documents to conceal the seizure of funds after the party was closed down in 1998 and notes: Legal action was not taken against Abdullah Gul because of his parliamentary immunity at the time. However, he lost his immunity when he was elected president. The First Criminal Court in Sincan has reopened the case. That is because the president of the country cannot be a suspect. So, he has to appear in court as a suspect.

    Oktay Eski in Istanbul Hurriyet criticizes President Abdullah Gul's strong reaction to the ruling of the First Criminal Court in Sincan that the president can be tried because he does not have any constitutional immunity. He recalls that Gul accused the court and the judge who made the ruling of acting with ill intent and says: We believe that President Gul should have avoided becoming a side in the matter. He should have said that he is prepared to testify in court. However, he preferred to criticize the court and the judge in Sincan. So, his behavior might be taken to mean that even the president does not trust the country's judiciary. Eksi asserts that a lawsuit should be filed against President Gul. However, he notes that the final decision will be made by the Supreme Court if the Ministry of Justice appeals against the court's ruling in Sincan.

    Nazli Ilicak in Istanbul Sabah reacts to the ruling of the First Criminal Court in Sincan that President Gul is liable to investigation because he does not have parliamentary immunity, saying: The intention is different. In fact, the statement that was issued by the presidential palace said that the ruling was motivated by ill intent. Ilicak argues that designs are being drawn up in Turkey again and new problems are created to increase tension and worsen polarization in the country.

    According to a report in the same newspaper, the First Criminal Court's ruling in Sincan that overruled the decision of the Chief Prosecutor's Office in Ankara not launch an investigation against President Gul in connection with the missing trillions case has led to a difference of views among the jurists. It quotes former Supreme Court President Sami Selcuk as saying that the ruling is final. The statement by the presidential palace is wrong. The report also quotes fomer Minister of Justice Hikmet Sami Turk and Prof Dr Mustafa Kamalak as saying that the president cannot be tried during his term of office. The president's immunity is higher than the immunity of the deputies in parliament. The court's decision can be overruled if an appeal is made to the Supreme Court.

    In an article entitled "Waiting for tomorrow", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru warns of what he describes as preparations to launch a multi-pronged attack against the ruling AKP. He claims that the organizers of this attack intend to turn the entire country into a battleground in waging a "no-holds-barred war" against the Erdogan government. He goes on to assert that the architect of this campaign is the same person who emerged as an "alternative" to former President Turgut Ozal and thwarted a plan that would have enabled Tansu Ciller to replace Necmettin Erbakan as prime minister in the Welfare Party-True Path Party coalition government. He also suggests a link between these preparations and Husamettin Cindoruk's election as leader of the Democratic Party, DP, and the issuance of a court ruling saying that President Gul should stand trial in the so-called missing trillion case against a number of former Welfare Party, RP, officials.

    In an article entitled "Political Judiciary", Zaman columnist Mehmet Kamis accuses the First Criminal Court in Sincan of violating the Constitution and acting like a political party in rendering a "scandalous" ruling urging that President Gul be put on trial in connection with irregularities in the use of Treasury aid given to the defunct RP. Kamis also argues that the ruling is part of an attempt to obstruct recent initiatives by President Gul including an effort to solve the "Kurdish issue."

    In a commentary entitled "Could the President be put on trial: Plan B of supporters of the 367 formula", Associate Professor Mustafa Sentop of Marmara University asserts that the Sincan Court's upholding of an appeal against an earlier court decision not to proceed with charges against President Gul in the so-called missing trillion case means that pro-establishment elements that attempted to prevent Gul from being elected as president in 2007 have resorted to an alternative plan which entails Gul's impeachment. Sentop also disputes the idea, used as a basis for arguments in favor of the said ruling, that immunity from prosecution is a right from which only members of parliament can benefit.

    EG/


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