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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-07-23

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. 136/09 23.07.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Izcan, stated that the government in Turkey sees north Cyprus as a province of Turkey-Afrika calls for a collective resistance against
  • [02] Talat informed the self-styled council of ministers on the course of the negotiations and on his recent visit to Turkey
  • [03] UBPs views regarding the Cyprus negotiations
  • [04] The General Secretary of KTOS stated that the Koran classes is a step imposed over the Turkish Cypriots
  • [05] Turkey finances the cost of the illuminating of the project for
  • [06] Volkan: The TRNC listed in the 95th place in the Doing Business Index 2009 report
  • [07] Illegal regime participates in international festivals in Bosnia Herzegovina and the Czech Republic
  • [08] Cyprus Turkish Coordination Council held contacts in Ankara
  • [09] Trade Unions protested for not increasing the wages
  • [10] Turkey to open 14 new embassies in Africa
  • [11] Erdogan, Assad discussed with revival of peace talks with Israel
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [12] From the Turkish Press of 22 July 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Izcan, stated that the government in Turkey sees north Cyprus as a province of Turkey-Afrika calls for a collective resistance against Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.07.09) reports that the General Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), Izzet Izcan, stated that the government in Turkey sees north Cyprus as a province of Turkey. Mr Izcan stated that the appointment by Turkey of a permanent undersecretary of Economy and Planning who is accountable to the Turkish Minister of State in Charge of Cyprus Affairs, Cemil Cicek, is the most obvious example of this.

    Under the title Time for collective resistance against Ankara, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (23.07.09) reports in its first page that those who turned a blind eye to the fact that while the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) was in government the government was a puppet government and the parliament was a puppet parliament and that only Ankaras words were valid and also they accused those who were saying this as provocateurs, woke up when the National Unity Party (UBP) came to power.

    The paper writes that everyone realized now that Ankara behaves so recklessly that has even appointed a permanent undersecretary as a governor of a province in the occupied areas.

    They are building mosques, they are organizing Koran classes, they erect monuments, they hoist flags and they are getting ready to give citizenship to the Turkish origin population who are here writes the paper and adds that if the demands at the demonstrations are restricted only about materials, they will have no result. If we do not shout out that we are under occupation, no one will take our reactions seriously, writes the paper.

    (CS)

    [02] Talat informed the self-styled council of ministers on the course of the negotiations and on his recent visit to Turkey

    Under the title Full coordination with the government, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.07.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat had participated in a two-hour meeting of the self-styled council of ministers which convened yesterday morning. Mr Talat informed the council on the course of the negotiations and on his recent visit to Turkey.

    Speaking to the journalists about the meeting, Mr Talat stated that it was very useful meeting and added that he replied to the questions of the ministers. He pointed to the importance of continuing of the negotiations process in coordination with the self-styled government and added that from now on he will be meeting more frequently with the council of ministers.

    Replying to questions as regards to a recent statement of President Demetris Christofias that there are great differences between the two sides, Mr Talat stated that these are Mr Christofias views. As he stated, sometimes they have opposite views and sometimes they have common views and added that he hopes that with the passing of time they will get closer together. Perhaps in this way we will be able to reach a solution, he said. Mr Talat also said that perhaps Mr Christofias makes these kinds of statements in order to relieve those groups who do not want a solution to be found to the Cyprus problem.

    (CS)

    [03] UBPs views regarding the Cyprus negotiations

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.07.09) broadcast the following:

    The General Secretary of the National Unity Party Irsen Kucuk issued a written statement today, putting forward the partys views regarding the Cyprus negotiations process.

    President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Turkeys President Abdullah Gul had both announced their desire for the Cyprus negotiations to reach the stage for a referendum to be held by the end of the year.

    In a written statement issued by the General Secretary Irsen Kucuk today, it said that anyone who favours a solution must accept the fact that there are two separate states in Cyprus, the people of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus will continue to govern themselves and will never endanger their security.

    A logical path must be followed if the negotiations is to reach a stage where a referendum can be held before the end of the year and the Turks of Cypruss rights and interests must be taken into consideration, he said.

    He underlined the fact that there are two separate states and two separate peoples in Cyprus and added that the new partnership to be established will be made up of two founding states.

    The continuation of Turkeys active and effective guarantees over Cyprus is not up for discussion said Kucuk and added that the Greek-Greek Cypriot duo must understand this.

    [04] The General Secretary of KTOS stated that the Koran classes is a step imposed over the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (23.07.09) reports that a quarrel took place between the head of the Religious Affairs Department, Yusuf Suicmez and the General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), Sener Elcil on the issue of the Koran classes which will start in schools of the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Mr Suicmez and Mr Elcil participated in a program of the KIBRIS television station. Mr Suicmez stated, inter alia, that this is a demand of the Turkish Cypriots. On his part Mr Elcil stated that this step is imposed over the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Suicmez said that he acts within the authority given to him as the head of the Religious Affairs Department, and that they want to enlighten the Turkish Cypriots. Mr Elcil stated that in the name of the Koran classes they are trying to inject to the community their ideology.

    The paper also writes that sixteen organizations will organize a demonstration on Friday against the Koran classes.

    (CS)

    [05] Turkey finances the cost of the illuminating of the project for the 18 km road between occupied Tymbou - Hamid Mandres

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (23.07.09) in its front page and under the title We will keep our promises reports on the statements of the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu. Speaking during the inauguration ceremony for the opening of the road between Tymbou - Hamid Mandres, Mr. Eroglu reiterated that they are committed to the promises they gave prior to the elections, adding that they took some measures since they are thinking about their future. Mr Eroglu stated also that as government, they face difficulties and he pointed out that the help coming from the Republic of Turkey continues and with this help they will be able to confront these difficulties.

    In his statements during the ceremony, the so-called ambassador of the Republic of Turkey in the occupied areas, Mr. Sakir Fakili stated that with the grow of the economy of the TRNC and the increase of the living standard of the Turkish Cypriots would be possible to happen with the increase of the investments and the support of the real sector.

    Meanwhile, the paper writes that the cost of the illuminating of the project for the 18 km road between Tymbou - Hamid Mandres was 1 million 3 thousand Turkish Lira and it was financed by the Republic of Turkey.

    (AK)

    [06] Volkan: The TRNC listed in the 95th place in the Doing Business Index 2009 report

    Under the title The TRNC listed in the 95th place in the Doing Business Index, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (23.07.09) reports that the occupied regime was listed in the 95th place in the 2nd Doing Business Index report conducted by the Turkish Cypriot Agency for Development and Investments (YAGA) using the method of the World Bank. The second report was published in 2009 and according to it, the illegal regime has improved its stance by being listed in the 95th place. Previously the illegal regime was listed 106th.

    (ML)

    [07] Illegal regime participates in international festivals in Bosnia Herzegovina and the Czech Republic

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper reports that the occupied Morfou Arts Association (GUSAD) has participated in the 4th Cultural Meeting Festival held in Bosnian city of Maglay. Groups from Romania, Serbia, Turkey, FYROM and the Czech Republic also took part in the event. The paper further writes that GUSAD has also participated in the 16th MFF Klatovy Festival held in the city of Klatovy in the Czech Republic.

    (ML)

    [08] Cyprus Turkish Coordination Council held contacts in Ankara

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (23.07.09) reports on the contacts of the Cyprus Turkish Coordination Council (KTKK) in Ankara between July 10-17. During its trip to Turkey, KTKKs delegation held meetings with Turkish government officials, some party leaders, party womens branches of the parties, ambassadors and mass media organs.

    According to information given by the KTKK General Coordinator Sema Sezer and the TRNC Coordinator Emine Sutcu, the council aims to organize all the Turkish Cypriots all over the world under the same roof through meetings with the various Turkish Cypriot organizations in the occupied areas of Cyprus and abroad.

    During its meetings, the delegation explained the role and the aims of KTKK, while dossiers were presented to the related offices. Speaking during their contacts, Sezer and Sutcu expressed the advantages of KTKK, especially for the Turkish Cypriots, who by entering under a single roof with a single voice they will have the possibility to make their voice to be heard stronger by the world.

    (EA)

    [09] Trade Unions protested for not increasing the wages

    Illegal Bayrak television (22.07.09) broadcast the following:

    Trade Unions flocked to the streets today in protest at the governments decision regarding wages of public sector workers. Representatives of the trade union handed a memorandum to the prime minister during the protest.

    More than 30 trade unions have held an action in front of the prime ministers office in Lefkosia in protest of the governments decision not to increase the wages of public sector workers on the basis of a 2% inflation rate.

    Representatives of the trade unions handed a memorandum to the Prime Minister during the protest outlining their demands. They warned that they will stage a general strike if the council of ministers fails to withdraw its decision at todays meeting.

    Yesterday, the President of the Cyprus Turkish Public Servants Union Ahmet Kaptan told BRT that this mornings protest was the first of a series of actions planned by the unions. He said the Unions were also against the appointment of an undersecretary on economic issues by Turkey.

    Responding to the criticisms, the Minister of Finance Ersin Tatar said that the unions reaction to the appointment of the undersecretary was unfounded. He said that the appointment reflected the importance Turkey attached to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus.

    [10] Turkey to open 14 new embassies in Africa

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.07.09) reports the following:

    Turkey will open 14 new embassies in Africa continent.

    The government had declared 2005 as "Africa Year", and a Turkey-Africa Summit took place last year with participation of nearly 50 leaders from African countries. The relations between Turkey and Africa speeded up with Turkey's non-permanent membership to UN Security Council.

    Turkey would open its new embassies in Angola, Burkina Faso, Chad, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Guinea, Cameroon, Madagascar, Mali, Mauritania, Mozambique, Niger, Uganda, Zambia as well as a consulate general in Sudan.

    Turkey has embassies in 13 African countries currently. Turkey exported products worth of 1.3 billion USD to all African countries in 2000. This rate increased to nine billion USD in 2008. Turkey's export to African continent rose 18 percent to 4.5 billion USD in January-May, 2009.

    Turkey targets to reach 50 billion USD of trade volume with African countries by 2012. Turkish businessmen have invested over 500 million USD in this continent since 2000.

    [11] Erdogan, Assad discussed with revival of peace talks with Israel

    Under the above title Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.07.09) reports the following:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan disclosed on Wednesday that he has been asked to help mediate again in the Arab-Israeli conflict, speaking just before he left for talks with the Syrian president.

    Erdogan helped mediate last year in four rounds of indirect peace negotiations between Israel and Syria. But Syria suspended them in December over Israel's military offensive in Gaza.

    Before he left for talks with President Bashar Assad in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, Erdogan reiterated Turkey's readiness to help restart indirect talks between Syria and Israel. Turkey has also offered to mediate in other tracks of the Arab-Israeli peace process.

    We feel a responsibility. ... Requests to resume the process have started to come. We are working on the issue," Erdogan told reporters before leaving for Aleppo, without elaborating who made the requests.

    During the one-day visit to Aleppo, Erdogan was accompanied by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who is known to be the architect of Ankara's Middle East policy as he devised Ankara's policy of re-engaging with its neighbors and improving regional stability. In addition to Davutoglu, Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moallem and Hassan Ali Turkmani, a deputy of the Syrian vice president, also participated in the meeting between Erdogan and Assad, which took longer than one hour, the Anatolia news agency reported.

    Assad earlier this month said there is no real partner in Israel to make peace, stressing that a halt to Jewish settlements in the West Bank is essential to restart talks.

    Syria has said it is willing to resume the Turkish-mediated talks if they focus on a complete Israeli withdrawal from the Golan Heights, captured in 1967. But Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said he is not willing to cede the territory Syria wants. Recent news reports in Israeli media also suggested that Netanyahu did not want Erdogan's mediation due to his stance against Israel displayed shortly after the Gaza offensive, which killed more than 1,000 Palestinians and has strained relations between Israel and Turkey. But in a statement later in the day, the Israeli Prime Ministry suggested the Israeli government was open to Turkish mediation, saying Turkey was a "legal channel" for talks with Syria.

    In January an angry Erdogan stormed out of a debate at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, on the Gaza conflict that included Israeli President Shimon Peres.

    Sami Moubayed, a prominent expert on Syrian-Israeli relations, speaking with Today's Zaman, meanwhile, warned that the agenda of the Erdogan-Assad talks would not be limited to the issue of Israel-Syria talks due to improved bilateral relations between Ankara and Damascus.

    I would not jump to conclusions on the relaunch of the Israeli-Syrian indirect talks.' I don't think the Israelis are ready, or willing, and that is clear from what we hear daily from Israeli officials, Moubayed, the editor-in-chief of the Syria-based Forward Magazine, told Today's Zaman.

    There are attempts at pumping life into these talks, but I think that after what happened in Gaza, and because the Israeli elections brought hardliners like Netanyahu to power, bilateral talks, be they direct or indirect, will not happen anytime soon, Moubayed added.

    Shlomo Brom, of the Israeli Institute for National Security Studies, speaking with Today's Zaman, said the Israeli government wants to resume negotiations without prior conditions, while Syria insists on an Israeli affirmation that it will withdraw from the Golan Heights. Israel knows very well that Syria will not agree to new negotiations that will start from the beginning, Brom said.

    To sum up, the probability of the resumption of Israeli-Syrian dialogue is quite low, and if it will be resumed, it will probably be a direct one and with US participation and there will not be a real need for Turkish mediation. As for Erdogan's visit, he may use it to check whether Turkey has a role in the current Syria-Israel track from the point of view of Syria, but I am afraid the Syrians as well prefer US participation, Brom said.

    A state-run newspaper, meanwhile, reaffirmed in an editorial that Syria is keen to restore all the Golan Heights and would not agree to start negotiations from scratch.

    It's not in the interest of peace to waste time or efforts or to return to point zero under the pretext of preconditions, said the government's Al-Thawra newspaper. Moving toward negotiations means an endorsement of a full withdrawal from the occupied land, it added.

    Assad said in a newspaper interview in March that the Turkish-mediated talks failed because Israel would not make a clear commitment to return all of the Golan up to the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee. He said Israel wanted to keep some disputed land around the Galilee, its main water source.

    Israel demands that Syria end its support for the Lebanese militant group Hezbullah and the Palestinian Hamas.

    Direct talks between Israel and Syria under US auspices also failed in 2000 over the extent of an Israeli withdrawal from the Golan. Last month, President Barack Obama's special Mideast peace envoy, George Mitchell, became the highest-level US administration official to visit Damascus since 2005. He acknowledged Syria's clout, declaring Damascus has a key role to play in forging Mideast peace.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [12] From the Turkish Press of 22 July 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 22 July 2009:

    a) YOK abolishes "Coefficient" discrimination:

    All papers report prominently YOK [Higher Education Council] decision to abolish the "coefficient" system introduced in the aftermath of the 28 February 1997 process that unseated Necmettin Erbakan's pro-Islamic government, adding that with the new decision there will remain no difference between imam-hatip lyceums [vocational schools with religious orientation] and the general lyceums regarding the entry of their graduates into universities. A report in Hurriyet notes that the YOK took this decision in its first meeting last night [on 21 July] after President Gul replaced YOK members appointed by his predecessor Sezer. After noting that some YOK members either did not attend or voted against the new decision, Hurriyet quotes Prof Mustafa Ilhan as saying that with this decision the imam-hatips will enter into every sphere of social life, and Tahsin Yesildere, the head of Lecturers' Association, as saying that the AKP regime is now taking control of universities. [Editorial note: After tinkering with various exam systems to control demand and supply in universities (the competition for limited university slots by a growing number of lyceum graduates), a new system called "katsayi" ("coefficient," a numerical evaluation that was multiplied by the Student Selection Exam, OSS, results to determine the standard of each discipline in lyceums) was introduced in 1998, in the aftermath of the 28 February 1997 process, to indirectly obstruct the imam-hatip graduates from branching out into other disciplines in universities and thus dissuade parents from sending their children to the dead-end imam-hatip schools. Under this 1998 regulation, an imam-hatip graduate specializing in theology had its exam results multiplied by a high coefficient of 0.8 because an imam-hatip school was considered to be good in that subject, which enabled him to continue his theological studies at the theological faculties. Whereas, an imam-hatip graduate specializing in computer or political sciences had his exam result multiplied by a low coefficient of 0.3 because an imam-hatip school was considered deficient in those subjects, with the result that an imam-hatip graduate was unable to enroll in university as a student of computer or political sciences. This system, which in general left little room for any student to branch out into subjects other than their chosen discipline in lyceums, had come under criticism, especially from Islamists, since its introduction. Under the new system, which will go into effect as of 2010, the OSS will be replaced by a two-phased examination system and the aggregate exam result of each student, regardless of the type of the lyceum he comes from, will be multiplied by a coefficient of 0.15, but graduates of imam-hatip lyceums, or other vocational schools like teachers lyceums, who want to continue with their chosen subjects will have their results further multiplied by a coefficient of 0.06 to ensure them a place in their specialized university faculties. In May 2004, Present Sezer had vetoed a bill on reforming YOK arguing in part that if introduced the bill will have undermined the "katsayi" system and once again increased the popularity of imam-hatip schools]

    Commenting on YOK decision in a column in Milliyet, Abbas Guclu says the decision, "which is politically and not pedagogically motivated," will create a chaos in the education system as it will it deal a great blow to Education Ministry's project to encourage early vocational orientation and will force students to seek extra lessons in tutoring institutions.

    Under the banner headline, "Injustice Over," Yeni Safak runs a front-page report which says that the use of the weighting method in computing the results of the university entrance examination, "imposed by the architects of the 28 February process," has been abolished by the Higher Education Council, YOK. The weighting method has closed the doors of universities to "millions" of vocational school graduates in the past ten years, the report says.

    b) Kurdish Question:

    Oktay Eksi, in his column in Hurriyet, expresses displeasure at the unrestrained use of certain terms during the discussion of the Kurdish problem after reports of a possible road map from Ocalan, adding that especially the use of the terms the "Kurdish People" and the "Kurdish Problem" should be avoided as they gives the impression of the existence of two [Turkish and Kurdish] forces in Turkey. Eksi argues that rights should be sought not for ethnic groups but for individuals, pointing out that all Turkey has to do is to emulate the United States where Hispanics and Afro-Americans enjoy no separate rights.

    Commenting on the objections raised by certain circles, especially CHP, against the involvement of Ocalan in the quest for a solution to the Kurdish problem, Cengiz Candar declares in his column in Hurriyet that it is illogical to oppose Ocalan's road map if it is going to end the violence related to the Kurdish problem. Candar believes one can no more separate the Kurdish problem from the PKK and Ocalan still exercises some power over Kurds. Ocalan should therefore be encouraged to draft a road map that would end the violence and engage Kurds in legal politics.

    In her column for Taraf, Yasemin Congar argues that that Ocalan is already the de facto interlocutor of the government. She believes Ocalan now has more influence on Kurds in cities than on guerrillas on the mountains, and as such he and the government are obliged to cooperate to end the fighting.

    Commenting on Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's statement, in reaction to reports on impending road map from PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan, that Ankara, and not Imrali, is the center for the solution of the Kurdish problem, Mehmet Ali Birand declares in his column in Hurriyet Daily News that "Anything other could not be considered. If we were to get somewhere, this would be realized within the frame of decisions taken by the government and the National Security Council. The weight should be on Ankara and the signals from Ankara should lead the way. What was missing in Davutoglu's approach, I think, was the timing of Ankara revealing its weight. In my article yesterday I spoke about it. If Ankara does not come up with a road map before Ocalan's announcement on August 15, then Imralý will get ahead of Ankara and Ankara will be in the position of having to be content with showing reaction to it." And commenting on Davutoglu's statement that Turkey handled the China case well, Birand says: "But news from Beijing tells us differently. Prime Minister Erdogan shows such spry reactions from time to time that, I'm sure, he regrets it later on...Is it right to accuse a super power like China, facing upheaval one after the other, of 'genocide,' without knowing for sure how events will develop? Does this behavior suit a statesman or Turkey's long term benefits? What did Ankara gain by this reaction? I believe it didn't gain anything; on the contrary, it lost."

    In a commentary entitled "Who will be treated as a counterpart in the settlement of the Kurdish issue?", Huseyin Yayman of Gazi University argues that while PKK leader Ocalan's influence as a player in the "peaceful settlement" of the Kurdish issue cannot be rejected, treating him rather than "the [Kurdish] will currently represented in Parliament" by the Democratic Society Party, DTP as a counterpart would be like trying to "make water run uphill. It is one thing to talk with Ocalan and quite another to treat him as a talking partner. Any emphasis on weapons and violence will lead to a major counter-reaction and damage the brotherhood of peoples."

    c) Davutoglu policies/Iraq:

    Analyzing Foreign Minister Davutoglu's recent interview on TRT, Bulent Aras indicates in his column in Sabah that Davutoglu's "multifaceted" and "dynamic" foreign policy aims at securing the "maximum cooperation and integration" among the regional countries centered around Ankara. Aras adds thanks to this policy Turkey now has constructive ties with all the groups in Iraq and cooperation, rather than security issues, are at the heart of these relations.

    According to a column in Cumhuriyet, Turkish Foreign Ministry is charting a new road map that would enhance economic rapprochement between Turkey and Iraq.

    In an article entitled "Turkey's Foreign [Policy] compass", Zaman columnist Ali Bulac discusses such questions as where Turkey is supposed to go by continuing to implement a "Western-oriented and multi-dimensional foreign policy" at a time when the multi-polar world order is being replaced by one where new emerging poles are establishing their own axes and with whom Turkey should ally itself eventually in the face of the prospect of enduring global conflicts caused by the West's continuing policies of military and political hegemony. In explaining why Turkey's "foreign policy compass" is "off course" in terms of its "theoretical basis" and "future perspective," Bulac argues that Turkey could not hope to become either a central player or a member of the West or the global Muslim community by trying to mediate between the West and the Islamic world or serving as a bridge between the two.

    EG/


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