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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-05-29
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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. 99/09 29.05.09
[A] NEWS ITEMS
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
[A] NEWS ITEMS
 The 30th Christofias-Talat meeting was held in the buffer zoneIllegal Bayrak television (28.05.09) broadcast the following:
President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias met today within the framework of direct negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem.
While the two leaders held a tete-a-tete meeting, which lasted for nearly two hours, their special representatives continue to carry out work on details of the economy chapter.
Speaking to reporters upon his return to the Presidential Palace, President Talat said that the Greek Cypriot side had presented them a document outlining their general outlook on the economy chapter following his face-to-face meeting with the Greek Cypriot leader. Talat said that talks will resume with the chapter on territory.
Responding to a question as to whether or not the issue of opening a crossing point in Yesilirmak [occupied Limnitis] was discussed at todays meeting, the President said that the two special representatives will continue to work on the issue.
Reminding that they had taken a decision to clarify the issue, so as to remove any misunderstandings, the President said that two special representatives will continue to work on the issue. It is our desire to conclude this issue as soon as possible he said.
He also said that they had agreed not to talk on the content of the work being carried out.
Asked whether or not the issue of a US company exploring oil off the coast of South Cyprus was discussed, the President said that the Turkish Cypriot Sides position on this issue was clear. We have nothing to discuss with the Greek Cypriot leader if this is the situation reached. That is why I did not open the subject, the President replied.
Meanwhile, the UN Special Advisor said that there was no significant change to be expected over UNFICYPs mandate in Cyprus.
In a short statement to reporters after todays meeting, the UN envoy said that the momentum in talks between the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus for a settlement of the island`s political problem is not spectacular but is not worryingly slow. He added that if the momentum is maintained at a satisfactory rate, a comprehensive agreement can be reached.
Regarding any changes in the mandate of the UN Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus, Downer said there was no proposal at this stage for the Security Council to change the mandate of UNFICYP, and that in the event of a comprehensive settlement, the Force`s role might go through some sort of change.
 Gul thanked Kyrgyzstan for its support towards the occupation regime. News reports that the TRNC representation office in the Kyrgyzstan is closing downUnder the title I thank you for the support towards the TRNC, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (29.05.09) reports that the President of the Republic of Turkey, Abdullah Gul, thanked the Kyrgyz MPs for the support they offered to the illegal regime in occupied Cyprus. Mr Gul made these statements in Kyrgyzstan where he is paying an official visit.
According to the paper, Mr Gul thanked the Kyrgyz MPs for the interest and the consideration they showed towards the occupation regime. He reminded that as of 1996 a Kyrgyz-TRNC Parliamentary Friendship Group exists and added that from 1996 until today this group established strong ties.
Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (28.05.09) reports that the tourist representation office of the TRNC in Kyrgyzstan, for the closure of which many efforts were exerted by the Republic of Cyprus, is now closing down by the National Unity Party (UBP). The paper writes that for the closure of the representation office twenty diplomatic notes were given to the Kyrgyzstan state by the Republic of Cyprus, Greece and the EU.
Bakis criticizes the self-styled government of UBP over the issue and writes that what the Greek Cypriots failed to achieve is taking place now because of UBP. The paper also writes that in the past the National Football Team of Kyrgyzstan visited the occupied areas of Cyprus for a football match and added that 38 MPs out of the 70-MP assembly of Kyrgyzstan are members of the Kyrgyz-TRNC Parliamentary Friendship Group.
Star Kibris (29.05.09) writes that the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) and MP of DP, Serdar Denktas speaking yesterday at the self-styled assembly of the occupation regime commented on the issue of the TRNC representation office in Kyrgyzstan. The paper writes the following: Mr Denktas who also evaluated the news reports as regards the closure of the representation office in Kyrgyzstan, stressing the importance of these representation offices abroad, stated that this news must be transparent.
 North Cyprus became a centre for human traffickingUnder the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (29.05.09) reports that the United Cyprus Party (BKP) evaluated the statements made in a daily newspaper by Kivanc Aktug who was sentenced for human trafficking, that North Cyprus was turned into a centre of human trafficking and stressed that these allegations are correct. The United Cyprus Party stated also that the human trafficking in the occupied areas is organized with the governments hand.
In his written statements Mr Abdullah Korkmazhan, member of the Central Executive Committee of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) stressed the need for an in-depth investigation of the allegations of Kivanc Aktug that President Mehmet Ali Talat was aware of the human trafficking and called on Mr Talat to make a statement on the issue.
Mr Korkmazhan went on and added that the ferry services organized to and from Lattakia did not bring tourists to the country but illegal immigrants and added that nobody has the right to keep alive this shame. Mr Kormazhan stated also that the country is being transformed into a human trafficking centre, a paradise of fugitives and criminals and the centre for every kind of illegal activities.
 The Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre is open to the Turkish Cypriots for treatment since 1998Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (29.05.09) reports that officials of the Bank of Cyprus Oncology Centre in the government controlled areas of Cyprus made statements to the paper regarding the number of Turkish Cypriot patients, who are treated in the Oncology Centre for cancer. The Oncology Centre was created following an agreement, signed in 1992, between the Cyprus Government and the Bank of Cyprus. The Centre started in 1998 to offer its services also the Turkish Cypriot patients without seeking profit.
According to the data given by the Oncology Centre to Havadis, 600 Turkish Cypriots were treated at the Centre between 1998-2008. It has been also observed that the number of the Turkish Cypriots, who are affected by cancer, has been significantly increased in the past years.
The head of the Turkish Cypriot Association Help those with Cancer (Kanser Hastalarina Yardim Dernegi), Mr Raziye Kocaismail, said that the Association carries out up to twenty trips every day with a minibus to carry the Turkish Cypriot patients to the Centre.
 Ankara reacts to the oil exploration activities of the Republic of CyprusTurkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (29.05.09) reports the following:
Turkey has asserted that the Greek Cypriot administration's intransigence on moving ahead with plans for exploring the Cypriot coast for oil and natural gas is a provocative attitude which also harms ongoing reunification talks between the Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders.
Earlier this week the Greek Cypriot media reported remarks by the US ambassador to the Greek Cypriot administration in southern Cyprus, who said that an American company is expected to soon start exploring the Cyprus coast for oil and natural gas. The announcement by US Ambassador Frank Urbancic came on Tuesday while speaking at the Cyprus International Fair, Greek Cypriot media reports said on Wednesday. Urbancic revealed that an American company planned to start exploring the island's southwest coast in the near future, without providing the name of the company.
Officials at the US Embassy in Ankara approached by Today's Zaman said they had no statement to make on the issue, while officials at the Turkish Foreign Ministry declined to comment on the issue, saying they were still examining the news reports. US Embassy officials, meanwhile, also noted that they didn't have the name of the company mentioned by Urbancic.
The Greek Cypriot policy of unilaterally delineating the sea boundaries between the island's coastal neighbours and the limits of its continental shelf dates back to 2003. It has since been infuriating Ankara, which says that Greek Cypriot actions in the east Mediterranean are provocative because, it is assumed, they will harm the equal rights and interests of the Turkish Cypriot people vis-à-vis the natural resources of the island.
According to international law, the sea boundaries between the countries and the limits of the continental shelf of each country need to be delineated via a consensus among all coastal and neighbouring countries when the issue is a semi-closed sea like the east Mediterranean.
The Greek Cypriot attempts have been considered by Ankara as having a particularly negative impact on ongoing negotiations aimed at reaching a comprehensive resolution of the Cyprus issue, since Greek Cypriot actions concerning sea zones are essentially an integral part of the comprehensive resolution issues. With such a view, Ankara is firm that it is not possible for the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) or Turkey to accept such activities by the Greek Cypriot administration.
As of Thursday, Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat had met for a new round of reunification talks. The two leaders have met over 25 times since fully fledged power-sharing negotiations began last September, focusing on concerns involving the harmonization of federal and constituent state laws, delicate property issues and European Union membership.
Turkish officials state that Greek Cypriot intransigence, over and above everything else, reflects its stance in ignoring the fact that there is not a single authority on the island that legally and de facto represents the Turkish Cypriots and the entire island of Cyprus.
Additionally, the same officials are angered by the fact that the Greek Cypriot administration has been extending its unilateral attempts, which are defined as irresponsible by Ankara, into Turkey's zones of authority in the east Mediterranean, recalling that Turkey also has legitimate rights and authorities in sea basins west of Cyprus starting from longitude 32° 16' 18''. This fact was declared by the Turkish capital back in March 1994 in a letter sent to the UN that was later published as a UN document.
Ankara expects third parties to abandon their support for the Greek Cypriot moves and instead to concentrate their efforts on getting the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus to succeed.
Turkish Cypriot Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, meanwhile, has responded harshly to news reports based on the remarks by Urbancic, underlining that no country or institution has the right to conclude agreements on behalf of the whole of Cyprus with the Greek Cypriot administration, which represents only the Greek Cypriot people.
The exploration, which is reported to start soon, ignores the fact that both Greek and Turkish Cypriots should benefit from the use of natural resources on and around the island, Ozgurgun said in a written statement released on Wednesday.
Ozgurgun said Urbancic's presentation of the American company's involvement in the issue as a pleasant development and a success for Cyprus, is not acceptable, as the Anatolia news agency reported.
On the same issue and under the front page title Oil tension in the Mediterranean Sea and the inside page title The Eastern Mediterranean is heating up, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (29.05.09) reports on the recent statements made by the US Ambassador in Cyprus, Frank Urbancic, that an American company is expected to start oil and natural gas explorations in the Southwest coast of Cyprus soon and writes that there is the danger that Turkey and the United States may come face to face after the Republic of Cyprus allowed a US company to search for oil and natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean.
The paper writes on the issue:
The area in which Mr Urbancic stated that an American company will start exploring for oil and natural gas is within the zone of authority of Turkey. Turkeys exclusive economic zone in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea overlaps with five of the thirteen regions designated for continental shelf exploration by the Greek Cypriots earlier.
Subtitle: Agreements contrary to the International law
At the time when the comprehensive negotiations in Cyprus continue, the Greek Cypriots have signalled a new crisis by using this time the United States. The latest diplomatic manoeuvre carried out over the oil and natural gas exploration of the Greek Cypriots will be the cause Turkey and the USA to come face to face in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. This is because the agreements the Greek Cypriots concluded with Egypt in 2003 and the Lebanon in 2006 that defines the Exclusive Economic Zone agreements are contrary to the international law and five out of the thirteen regions designated for continental shelf exploration in the south and southeast of the island of Cyprus overlaps the zone of authority in Eastern Mediterranean to that of Turkeys zone of authority.
The paper further writes that during the crisis in 2007, Turkey has sent warships in the region and sent the message to the Greek Cypriots that the continental shelf under discussion is under Turkeys zone of authority.
Cumhuriyet publishes the report by presenting a map displaying the continental shelf and the regions in which Turkey claims to be under its authority.
 The French President cancels his visit to Sweden due to Swedens stance on Turkeys EU membershipUnder the title The EU support to Turkey from Sweden got Sarkozy mad, Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (29.05.09) reports that the French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who would have paid on June 2nd an official visit to Sweden --the country which will hold the rotating EU presidency as of June 1st 2009-- has cancelled his official visit because he was annoyed over the recent statements made by the Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, on Swedens support to Turkeys EU membership.
According to a statement released by the French Presidential Palace, the Nicolas Sarkozy visit was cancelled due to intense schedule, writes Hurriyet.
 As bargaining between the US and Turkey over troops to Afghanistan and the withdrawal from Iraq is going on the Turkish Chief of Staff is paying a visit to the USAAnkara Anatolia news agency (28.05.09) reported the following from Ankara:
Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug will pay a visit to the United States at the end of May.
The visit will take place upon a formal invitation from Admiral Michael Mullen, the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Gen. Basbug will also have meetings with several other U.S. executives and attend activities of the American Turkish society.
[B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS
 From the Turkish Press of 28 May 2009Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 28 May 2009:
a) Erdogan's remarks on expulsion of ethnic minorities
Viewing the reaction of the opposition to Prime Minister Erdogan's critical remarks on the expulsion of ethnic and religious minorities from Turkey in an article in Taraf, Ahmet Altan wonders why the opposition is so angered by these remarks. It cannot be because they do not agree that such policies were implemented, claims Altan, adding that it is difficult to believe that CHP leader Deniz Baykal and Nationalist Action Party (MHP) Devlet Bahceli are so ignorant about our history. Maintaining that the two politicians should be well informed on these issues, Altan asks: "Which part of the prime minister's statement do they oppose? Were the minorities not treated badly? Did the Armenian expulsion, massacre, genocide not take place? Was the wealth tax not imposed? Were people not driven away from their land through the population exchange? Are they saying 'no' to these things? Or are they saying that 'these events took place but they are not fascist implementations'? They cannot deny that these things happened, these events took place in the very near past; the witnesses are still alive. If they are claiming that these events are not fascist practices, then they should open an encyclopaedia and read the definition of 'fascism.'" Accusing the opposition parties of living in an unreal world by deceiving those who want to be deceived, Altan predicts that they lack the potential of coming to power.
b) Minesweeping along Turkish-Syrian border
An article by Metin Munir in Milliyet details the government formula to clear the region along the Turkish-Syrian border of mines. Enumerating the reasons why this formula is unsound, the writer notes that it is impossible for mine companies to find it commercially viable.
Viewing the difficulties the prime minister has encountered from within his party to endorse the mine bill, Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol in an article says that the mine issue has brought to the surface another issue that each government is faced with sooner or later, namely "passive resistance." The involvement of an Israeli firm is the focal point of the resistance, maintains Akyol, adding that this resistance is also fed by paranoia that stretches so far as to include the scenario that Israel will be settling some 2.5 million persons in the cleared regions. Pointing out that he has objections to the bill because it combines "mine sweeping" with "agricultural administration," Akyol argues that these are two different spheres of expertise and should not be included in the same tender. However, he continues, let the best man win, be it an Israeli or another firm, adding that bills should be endorsed not based on paranoia but based on their legal and technical merits.
Assessing the opposition to the mine bill in an article in Milliyet, Kadri Gursel criticizes the Republican People's Party (CHP) for opposing the bill without detailing its reasons or submitting a counterproposal. Viewing the xenophobic aspect of the opposition, Gursel says that the objection to an Israeli firm, if not based on concrete reasons, can only be viewed as the expression of a racist and an anti-Semitic paranoia. Assessing the concrete proposals submitted by the Democratic Party (DP) as constructive, Gursel says that the DP, like the CHP, favours the clearing of the region by the NATO Maintenance and Supply Agency, NAMSA, but unlike the CHP, also proposes that a public investment firm be establish in a bid to share the riches of the cleared areas with the local people. Explaining the proposal, Gursel writes: "This firm, which will not make any direct investments, will receive 49 percent of the profits made by all the local and foreign firms investing in the cleared areas. Subsequently all the shares of this firm will be distributed among the regional people." Another positive aspect of the DP proposal is that it is education-oriented, notes Gursel, explaining: "The criteria for distributing the shares will be based on the number of children continuing their secondary education. The DP proposes to give one share for every male child in a secondary school, and two shares for every female child in a secondary school."
According to Sabah columnist Nazli Ilicak, the first issue that has to be clarified in the controversy over the minesweeping case is the cost of this task. The various numbers quoted by different circles and the secrecy over the cost of this project creates doubts, writes Ilicak in her article, calling on the authorities to issue an official statement on the cost estimated for the task. Questioning how the cost of 25, 30, and 50 million dollars mentioned during the last 10-15 years has increased to 500 million now, Ilicak underlines that Turkey, having signed the Ottawa Agreement on the issue, is obligated to clear the 180.00-donum area from mines by 2014. In conclusion, she calls on all the parties to reach an agreement on the issue in order to fulfil this obligation.
Observing the division the mining bill has caused within the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in an article in Vatan, Mehmet Tezkan says that this issue has turned out to be a minefield in itself. Those opposed to the bill come from the tradition of the National View whose nerves cannot withstand the mentioning of Israel, writes Tezkan, adding that this circle interprets the prime minister's remarks concerning the expulsion of minorities as a criticism directed against those who are opposed to granting the right of the cleared areas to Israel and not against the expulsion policies of past governments. In conclusion, the writer maintains that the AKP will not be able to silence its rebels.
Recalling Erdogan's Davos outburst accusing Israel of being 'well versed in killing' and his wife's accusation against Israeli President Peres that he is a 'liar,' Hurriyet columnist Cuneyt Ulsever in his article maintains that now it is pay time for those outbursts and that this is the reason why the right to use the areas cleared of mines will be granted to an Israeli firm. The prime minister is exerting great efforts to grant those rights to an Israeli firm because he knows that if he does not succeed, then he will have to pay a higher price in the future, argues Ulsever, concluding: "Encircling Syria from the north is a great blessing for Israel."
In an article entitled "What business does an Israeli company have being there?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul slams Israeli Ambassador to Turkey Gaby Levy for his following "inappropriate" remarks "mocking public sensitivities" about the possibility that an Israeli company might be awarded the contract to demine and cultivate the Turkish-Syrian border: "This region is a very important place both for Muslims and Jews. We have known since our early childhood where we came from. Our children know it, too. Obviously, it is very important for all Jews to be able to return to these lands, from which our grandfathers hailed. Particularly Sanliurfa and Harran are very important for us." Karagul asserts that Levy's remarks are an example of serious imprudence at a time of great public concern about Israel's interest in the region. "I am not talking about the debate on the Promised Land. ... I am talking about today's regional realities. It is unacceptable for the envoy of a country that is a source of regional distrust like Israel to make such a mistake."
In an article entitled "Do not step on the mines", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru warns that the debate on the landmine clearance project is threatening to undermine Turkey's "hard-won image" as a rising regional player. He asserts that Israel is fuelling this controversy because it does not like the ruling AKP and sees it as a rival in its relations with Washington and as the greatest obstacle to its regional plans. He also cautions news media outlets "known to be close to the Erdogan government" against publishing reports and commentaries that create the impression that the landmine clearance contract has already been awarded to an Israeli company.
In an article entitled "Are we dependent on Israel?", Vakit columnist Serdar Arseven calls on the Erdogan government to revise the bill on landmine clearance so as to treat the demining task and the agricultural cultivation project as two separate undertakings to be contracted out to different companies in line with an earlier State Council ruling on this subject. He calls attention to a "widespread public conviction" that the combination of these projects means that the contract will be awarded to Israel. He also advises the Government to give the landmine clearance contract to a domestic private company.
In an article entitled "Our turn to enter the minefield", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya warns of what he describes as disinformation about the landmine clearance project being disseminated by "flag wavers" who are trying to "incite" core supporters of the AKP against the Government by "hitting below the belt" in the dispute over the said project. He asserts that those criticizing the Erdogan government for planning to award the project to an Israeli company are "lapdogs of Israel" who are only "pretending" to maintain an anti-Israeli stance.
Under the headline, "Turkish military turns out to have cleared landmines on Syrian border two years ago," Zaman publishes a front-page report which asserts that it has turned out that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) cleared landmines in a 7,000 square meter area in Sanliurfa two years ago, a situation that according to the report contradicts the TSK's assertion that it lacks the equipment and personnel it would need to be able to undertake the job of ridding the border with Syria of landmines.
Under the headline, "So much for Israel's disinterest," Milli Gazete publishes a front-page report which asserts that Israeli Ambassador Gaby Levy's visit to Sanliurfa and his comments on the Southeastern Anatolian Project have given the lie to Prime Minister Erdogan and the AKP's claims that Israel is not interested in the contract to clear the Turkish-Syrian border of landmines.
c) Reports about a new Secret Decree regarding Incirlik Base
Questioning whether the use of the Incirlik Base has been extended to cover 2009 through another of the "secret decrees," Sabah columnist Umur Talu maintains that the activities of the base violate Article 92 of the constitution. In his article, Talu argues that the US activities at the base far exceed the provisions of the bilateral agreement signed in 1975.
Radikal's Nuray Mert devotes her column to the press release issued by the Global Peace and Justice Coalition denouncing the use of the Incirlik Base by the United States to occupy the regional countries. Informing the public that the government is getting ready to sign the "Secret Decree" that will allow the United States to use the base against the regional peoples, the press release warns the government that "allowing the use of the Incirlik Base as an occupation centre through secret decrees is against the laws, neighbourly relations, and humanity." Questioning the use of the 90 nuclear warheads stationed at the base, the press release calls on deputies who are against war not to collaborate with the United States, to close the base, and to annul the secret decree.
d) Agreement with IMF
Viewing the resistance within the government to reach an agreement with the IMF in an article in Vatan, Ercan Inan argues that the government has decided to gamble and to delay an agreement encouraged by the halt in the exchange rate of the dollar, by the increasing demand for the tenders being issued, and by the Central Bank's dollar reserves. Asserting that Ali Babacan, the deputy prime minister in charge of the economy, is in favour of signing an agreement with the IMF, Inan says that there is an opposition within the government against the IMF that exceeds Babacan's will. The government opposition is concerned about the IMF demand for reforms regarding the Revenue Administration and the financial discipline, explains Inan, adding that given the loss of votes in the recent local elections and bearing in mind the next general elections, the government cannot consider a policy of economic austerity.