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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-11-05

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. 209/09 05.11.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Egemen Bagis and David Miliband meet; Cyprus among their issues of discussion
  • [02] Ankara to exchange views with London on its new plan for Cyprus
  • [03] Talat: We have a B Plan
  • [04] Eroglu stated that the demands put forward by the Greek Cypriots on the property issue are far away from the demands of the Turkish Cypriots
  • [05] The Turkish settlers association expresses its support to Talat
  • [06] TDP elects its new General Secretary
  • [07] Turkeys official gazette publishes the decision for the registration of hellim
  • [08] The Dutch Ambassador visited the EVKAF foundation
  • [09] Davutoglu to meet Kouchner in Paris
  • [10] German report shows that 2009 was not a good year for minorities in Turkey; ECHR decision on Prinkipos orphanage was not implemented over a year after it was taken
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 04 November 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Egemen Bagis and David Miliband meet; Cyprus among their issues of discussion

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.11.09) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks, Egemen Bagis, said Wednesday Britain would continue to support Turkey's EU negotiations as it did in the past.

    Egemen Bagis met with the British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs David Miliband at the Prime Ministry's Dolmabahce Office in Istanbul on Wednesday. Speaking to reporters after an hour of meeting with Miliband, Bagis said that Miliband and he discussed Turkey's EU negotiation process. Britain will continue to support Turkey's EU negotiations as it did in the past. We were pleased to receive affirmation in this regard from Mr Miliband, Bagis stressed. There exists certain problems and we exchanged opinions on such problems. During our talks, my planned visit to Athens came up as well, Bagis said.

    David Miliband, in his part, said that he would meet with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu on Thursday. The determination of the Turkish government in the EU journey is highly important for the British government and bilateral relations, Miliband noted. I have told Bagis about the strong support Britain extends to Turkey's EU negotiations. I know there are many people with doubts. My observation in both Britain and Europe gave me the impression that we will be loyal to our words. We can see the benefits of Turkey's EU membership in Turkey and Europe, Miliband said. During our talks, I have expressed Britain's support and appreciation of the reform program in Turkey. Many important steps were taken in this reform process since I last visited Turkey in May, Miliband said.

    Touching on the issue of Cyprus, Miliband said that there could not be a better time than now to solve the problems between the two sides in Cyprus.Turkish-British relations are based on mutual respect, interests and important shared values. The two countries should work together for the future of themselves, Miliband also said.

    [02] Ankara to exchange views with London on its new plan for Cyprus

    Under the title A six-month plan for Cyprus, Turkish daily Aksam newspaper (03.11.09) reports the following:

    Ankara, which made openings in Armenia, Syria, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Serbia, Iran and Iraq during the last month, is now also planning to speed up its steps on the issue of a solution in Cyprus.

    In this framework, David Miliband, the Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs of Great Britain, which is one of the guarantor countries in the island, is coming to Ankara on the 5th of November. It is noted that a plan, which foresees the solution in 6 months and which will speed up the negotiations between the TRNC Greek Cypriot Sector, will be presented to Miliband and his support will be asked.

    Subtitle: Miliband is coming

    It is expected that this plan will be submitted to Miliband on the 5th of November and a working visit to be paid to Britain again this month by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with Cyprus being the issue of discussion in order to receive Britains views on the plan and to exchange opinions. According to the plan, Turkey wants the negotiations to be completed before 2010 and the issues on which the two leaders cannot reach an agreement to be resolved in a manner which will be determined by the UN Secretary-General, as it happened in the Annan Plan. Ankara considers that while the UN Secretary-General is doing this, he will take as a model the Annan Plan on which the sides before agreed. Turkey wants to complete the process in 6 months. The reason for this is the presidential elections that will be held in the TRNC in April. Diplomatic observers are noting that it might be necessary to start the process from the scratch with a new president in case Mehmet Ali Talat, who is also the TRNC chief negotiator, is not re-elected in the elections and that the bargaining might be re-launched even on the issues on which agreement is reached. Ankara wants the process to be completed.

    (ML)

    [03] Talat: We have a B Plan

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (05.11.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, who is currently holding contacts in Brussels, evaluated the latest developments of the negotiations for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Mr Talat delivered a speech at the Centre for European Policy Studies on Tuesday, under the title The Cyprus Peace Process: State of Play.

    Mr Talat stated, inter alia, that the Turkish Cypriot side is creative and active at the negotiations and that it always prepares new proposals. However, he alleged, it is not enough the efforts for the solution to be one-sided. Mr Talat went on and stated that this is the last chance for the solution of the Cyprus problem, adding that while the Cyprus problem was a bi-communal problem in the 1960s, nowadays is an international problem. Asked if there is a Plan B in case a solution is not reached for the Cyprus problem until April 2010, Mr Talat stated that there is a Plan B as well as other alternatives, but this is not the time for these plans to be discussed, since he is trying for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    The paper further reports about Talats contacts in Brussels and writes that he held meetings at the European Parliament. Mr Talat met with the Liberal Group and with the Socialist Group and also held meetings with officials of the Foreign Relations Committee. Talat will meet today with the Commissioner, responsible for the EU Enlargement, Olli Rehn.

    (CS)

    [04] Eroglu stated that the demands put forward by the Greek Cypriots on the property issue are far away from the demands of the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (05.11.09) reports on the statements of the self-styled Prime Minister, Dervis Eroglu who has said that the demands put forward by Greek Cypriots are far away from the demands of the Turkish Cypriots adding that it was not possible until today for the two sides to reach to a common point.

    The self-styled Prime Minister made the above statements prior to his entrance to the meeting of the Council of Ministers.

    Noting that the government was closely following the ongoing negotiations aimed at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, Mr Eroglu explained that they had access to the records of the meetings. He said that they shared and will continue to share with the public their objections as well as concerns on the issues discussed at the negotiating table.

    Reminding the statements made the previous days by President Demetris Christofias who has said that We are ready to go deeper on the property issue Mr Eroglu stated that it is not possible to accept the views which the Greek Cypriots put forward on the property issue.

    Expressing the view that the principle of bi-zonality and the two state and two people principles would be removed in case they accept the proposals which the Greek Cypriots set on the negotiation table on the property issue, Mr Eroglu said that the overall aim of the Greek Cypriots was to assimilate the Turkish Cypriots. He then said that if the Greek Cypriots continue expressing these views, then it can be said that we are very far from the solution.

    (AK)

    [05] The Turkish settlers association expresses its support to Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (05.11.09) reports that the Association of Turkish Refugees Mutual Aid and Solidarity (Turk-Goc-Der) [Tr. Note: The association of the Turkish settlers in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus] has reacted to the criticism made recently against the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, and issued a statement yesterday expressing its support to the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    The written statement is signed by Enver Dincoglu, chairman of the association, who referring to the criticism against Mr Talat regarding some views expressed by him in the recently published book under the title My island, Talats Cyprus, said there is a difference between the present views of Mr Talat and his views before becoming president of the republic.

    Mr Dincioglu noted that during a meeting they held with Mr Talat they saw that his views have changed. He argued: As a requirement of our loyalty to our mission and our state, we cannot permit to anyone saying anything about the post of the President of the Republic and the President.

    Referring to the statement by Mr Talat in the book that he did not approve the declaration of the breakaway regime and he was sad about it, Mr Dincoglu said that everyone knows the statements, views and thoughts of Mr Talat before he became president.

    Commenting on the statements made by an organization which argued that Mr Talat is not representing the Turkish Cypriot people, Mr Dincoglu stated these statements are disappointing and thought-provoking and claimed that Mr Talat has been elected with the free will of the Turkish Cypriot people.

    (I/Ts)

    [06] TDP elects its new General Secretary

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.11.09) broadcast the following:

    Esat Varoglu has been elected as the new General Secretary of the Social Democracy Party (TDP). According to a statement from the TDP, Esat Varoglu was elected unanimously by the Party Assembly which convened last night. Nine members of the Executive Board were also elected by the TDP Party Assembly.

    [07] Turkeys official gazette publishes the decision for the registration of hellim

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.11.09) broadcast the following:

    The Turkish Patent Institutes (TPI) decision to register hellim as a place of origin product from the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus has been published in Turkeys Official Gazette. The battle to have the traditional cheese registered in Turkey was launched by the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Industry. Any objections to the decision taken by the Turkish Patent Institute should be made within six months.

    The TPI registration documents explain that hellim, produced and packed within the boundaries of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus would be controlled by a department to be determined by the Agriculture Ministry.

    The Institutes decision was welcomed by milk and dairy producers in the country.

    [08] The Dutch Ambassador visited the EVKAF foundation

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.11.09) broadcast the following:

    The Ambassador of the Netherlands to South Lefkosa Gen Eric Van der berg paid a visit to the Evkaf foundation this morning. No statement was issued before or after the visit.

    [09] Davutoglu to meet Kouchner in Paris

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.11.09) reported the following from Paris:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will come to Paris on Thursday night as the official guest of his French counterpart Bernard Kouchner. After speaking at a conference at the International Diplomacy Academy, Davutoglu will meet with Kouchner on Friday. He is also set to hold a news conference at the International Press Centre.

    Bernard Valero, spokesman for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said that the visit would make valuable contributions to efforts to strengthen the bilateral relations between the two countries. He said that recent regional and international developments including the issues of Middle East and Iran would be high on the agenda of the meeting between Davutoglu and Kouchner.

    Turkey's EU membership process and the ongoing "Turkish Season" activities in Paris are the other topics on Davutoglu's agenda.

    France has obstructed opening of five chapter headings in Turkey's EU negotiation process by claiming that they were directly regarded with full membership. Davutoglu was scheduled to visit Paris on October 23. But the visit was postponed because of the session at the Turkish parliament on Armenia.

    [10] German report shows that 2009 was not a good year for minorities in Turkey; ECHR decision on Prinkipos orphanage was not implemented over a year after it was taken

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (05.11.09) reports the following:

    Despite high hopes for this year, Turkish religious communities have seen no significant progress in 2009 in resolving long-standing property problems, a recently released report by a Catholic charity titled Human Rights in Turkey Secularism = Religious Freedom? has said.

    Otmar Oehring, head of the Human Rights Office at the German-based Missio organization, suggested that the European Court of Human Rights is the only realistic hope of resolving individual property cases.

    He listed the problems of religious minority communities as the failure to acquire genuine legal status and have their leaders fully recognized, the need for equitable teaching about religions and beliefs in schools, the need for the right to train clergy, and the non-recognition of conscientious objection to military service. The report claimed that ultranationalist attacks on the full equality of citizens who are either not ethnically Turkish or secular or Sunni Muslims also were continuing.

    According to the report, the largest group affected by property problems is the Alevis since their places of worship, the cemevis, are not recognized as such but as cultural houses.

    The report claimed that there was some hope due to harmonization with the European Union and that this process would enable places of worship such as protestant churches and Jehovahs Witness kingdom halls to be built, but that there are many obstacles to overcome because authorities still have wide discretionary powers according to the law.

    The report also recalled several property cases against religious minorities such as the case of the Mor Gabriel Monastery in Mardin. Oehring claims that the case is complex and involves a three-way relationship between the monastery, the state and local Kurdish tribes.

    'Many Kurds --like many Turks-- have a deep-rooted hostility to Christians and other religious minorities, encouraged by the education system and the mass media. Powerful forces in the so-called deep state support this intolerance', the report stated.

    According to the report, Catholics and other Christians have also been disappointed with the case of St. Pauls church at Tarsus.

    'The Turkish authorities rejected Pope Benedict XVIs repeated appeals for the church to be handed over to the Christian community for permanent use', the report underlined.

    Another case raised in the report is the former church-run orphanage on the island of Buyukada [Prinkipos] in the Sea of Marmara which has yet to be handed back to the Greek Patriarchate despite a ruling issued by the European court.

    The report recalled that when Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan visited Buyukada in August, he and Patriarch Bartholomew had an opportunity to discuss the future of the former orphanage building. The patriarch said he wished to use it as an ecology study centre and a place for inter-religious and inter-Christian dialogue. Erdogan suggested he would help finance such a facility.

    'However, over a year after the European Court of Human Rights judgment became final, there has been no sign from the Turkish authorities as to when and if at all they will implement the judgment', the report claimed.

    It also underlined that expectations were high in 2009 for the reopening of a theological seminary on the island of Heybeliada but that so far there have been no improvements on the issue.

    The report argues that a definitive solution to the property-related problems of religious communities can only be reached if all religious communities are recognized in their own right by the Republic of Turkey and if a new law describes in detail how this recognition is to be implemented.

    'Until these two steps are taken, solutions to religious property problems can only realistically be expected from the European Court of Human Rights. These rulings need to be implemented within the courts timescale, and not left to be implemented --if at all-- by the authorities at some unspecified point in the future', the report claimed.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 04 November 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 04 November 2009:

    On the plan against reactionism

    Speaking at the Justice and Development Party (AKP) group meeting, Prime Minister Erdogan calls on Chief of the General Staff Ilker Basbug to stop acting like an old conservative bureaucrat and surrender Col Dursun Cicek and all those involved in the drafting of the "Action Plan To Combat Reactionism" to the judiciary, according to a report, which notes that in his speech Erdogan also said that his criticism of Israel does not amount to anti-Semitism and that Turkey's foreign policy is not changing direction, only normalizing.

    In the meantime, the mysterious informant officer has sent a second letter, this time in e-mail form, to the Ergenekon prosecutors, informing them that the "junta structure inside the army" is engaged in various activities to protect itself against reactions by creating confusion about the authenticity of officer Dursun's signature. The mysterious officer also says the General Staff is monitoring 400 Internet sites with the aim of controlling them and itself has 42 sites engaged in "psychological operations," according to Milliyet and Sabah reports.

    According to reports in Star and a report in Taraf, in his second letter the mysterious officer has also revealed the credit card number of Col Ilker Ziya Goktas, officer responsible for conducting smear campaign through Internet sites under a directive adopted by the General Staff. The papers list some of the sites used by the military for their smear campaign, like:

    http://www.irtica.org http://www.ozgurgenc.net http://www.aslar.org http://www.turkatak.gen.tr http://www.turkses.com http://www.pkkgercegi.net http://www.armenianreality.com http:// www.terorveguvenlik.net http://www.gurbetciler.info http://www.greekmurders.net http://www.turkishgenocide.net http://www.terrorizm.info http://www.members.tripod.com http://www.pontuslu.com http://www.tsasker.com http://www.gencizbiz.net http://www.turkler.info http://www.turkuz.info http://www.askeriz.info http://www.pkkapo.com http://www.cameria.org http://www.yunanli.com http://www.turkuzbiz.org http://www.bizturkler.org http://www.turkeyturks.com

    On the other hand, the General Staff, the Police Department, and MIT [National Intelligence Organization] are in a race to expose the identity of the informant officer, says a Sabah report, adding that the Ergenekon prosecutors have the photocopies of more than 200 coup plans drafted at the General Staff headquarters and want to find out the mysterious officer so as to obtain their originals from him.

    Under the headline, "Turn in suspects without hesitation," Yeni Safak publishes a report which highlights Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks yesterday calling on the top brass of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) to turn in the suspects in the latest alleged "coup" attempt so that the TSK might not fall into discredit.

    Under the banner headline, "New plan to destroy wet signature exposed," Vakit publishes a report which provides highlights from the "patriotic" whistleblower's second letter to Ergenekon prosecutors detailing a new military plan aimed at creating doubts about the authenticity of the recently disclosed military action plan against the ruling AKP.

    Also a report entitled "Settling scores with whom, the Junta or the Whistleblower?", Vakit Editor-in-Chief Hasan Karakaya accuses certain newspapers and television stations of trying to encourage skepticism about the authenticity of the recently revealed "coup plan" as part of a "psychological operation" conducted by the "junta" within the TSK.

    Under the headline, "Black propaganda continues," Zaman publishes a report which provides a detailed summary of the "unknown military officer's second letter" to Ergenekon prosecutors disclosing new plans by the "pro-junta" group within the army.

    Under the headline, "Erdogan vows to follow plot probe through to the end," Today's Zaman runs a report which highlights Erdogan's remarks at his party's parliamentary group meeting yesterday about "what he called the document of 'conspiracy against the nation'" revealed by a unnamed member of the armed forces.

    In an article entitled "What sort of a chief of staff?", Milli Gazete columnist Mehmet Sevket Eygi responds to a "provocative" article by Vatan writer Necati Dogru, who asks Islamist groups whether they want a General Staff chief who wears a Muslim beard, goes on a pilgrimage to Mecca every year, and has a veiled wife and daughters. Cataloguing the characteristics that "we" expect the top commander of the army to possess, Eygi describes an army chief who "by no means intervenes in religious affairs directly or indirectly," "keeps the army out of politics," is opposed to coups, "sincerely upholds the principle that elected governments can be removed from office only through an election," "does not perceive Islam and Muslims as a threat," refrains from "treating any ideology including the official ideology as a religion," etc.

    Kurdish Issue

    Following Government Spokesman Cemil Cicek's statement that the government is planning to take the democratic overture to the parliament on 10 November [the national day for commemoration of Ataturk's death anniversary], CHP leader Deniz Baykal claims that it may be that the government is intentionally bringing that issue to the parliament on 10 November to create the impression that it can do whatever it wants in the absence of Ataturk, or may be the government just wants to show it is doing something on the Kurdish issue ahead of Erdogan's Washington's visit, according to a report in Radikal.

    Murat Yetkin, in his column in Radikal justifies opposition's criticism over the 10 November and deplores the government's decision not to change the date. But, he adds, on the other hand the government is seeking a general debate at the parliament to give the opposition ample time to express its opinion on the overture before the cameras. Yetkin quotes an unnamed government source as also saying that there is no better date than 10 November, a day which could actually consolidate peace and brotherhood among citizens.

    After noting Erdogan's statement at his party group meeting that the Kurdish overture process will continue, Fikret Bila says in his column in Milliyet that he spoke to Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, who too confirmed that the process will continue, though there is as yet no definite decision when and how to resume it. Cicek says the PKK homecoming, especially those from the Makhmur camp, could resume after the parliamentary debate on the process on 10 November provided that Habur-like incidents do not take place anymore. Cicek also thanks the Turkish army for its "successful" fight against the PKK, adding that it is now the civilians' turn to deal with the economic, social, and cultural aspects of the problem.

    Taha Akyol, in his column in Milliyet, points out that Erdogan recites emotional patriotic poems during his speeches or television appearances to placate the people as he knows his Kurdish overture has no popular support. Akyol quotes a Metro Poll survey showing that only 31.6 percent of the population supports his overture and then only with reservations. Akyol warns that this overture issue is exacerbating the social rifts and making it harder for social groups to exist together. While the overture is correct, the government is unable to package it properly, Akyol concludes.

    Rusen Cakir draws attention to the danger posed by ethnic discrimination. In a column for Vatan, Cakir warns that many people internalized their anger against the Kurds over the last 20 years and the Kurdish overture has now brought these people to the verge of explosion. "There is now the danger that with the government's Kurdish overture this accumulated anger among certain segments of the society could spill into the streets," Cakir says, particularly in reference to racist slogans that Turkish fans chant when Diyarbakir soccer team plays outside the Kurdish region.

    Commenting on the conference organized in Istanbul on 2-3 November by the Atlantic Council on the relationship between Turkey and the Iraqi Kurds, in which many Kurds from the Kurdish administration in Iraq participated, Mehmet Ali Birand says in his column in Milliyet that the conference revealed that the more Turkey extends a helping hand to Kurds the more warmer the Iraqi Kurds will be disposed towards Turkey, because it is becoming clear that Turkey and northern Iraq need each other for their security.

    Commenting on the same conference in a column in Hurriyet, Cengiz Candar notes that in contrast to strong Kurdish presence, there was not a single Turkish official at the conference. He says the reason is that Turkish officials are "allergic" to David Philips, who is organizing these conferences and also want to avoid accusations from the opposition that the government is conducting its Kurdish overture under directive from Americans. While the Turkish government abstained from the conference, Iraqi officials showed they were happy to be in Turkey and in their speeches drew a rosy picture of future Turkish-Iraqi Kurdistan relations.

    In an article entitled "War and Peace", Today's Zaman columnist Dogu Ergil slams opposition parties like the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) for what he refers to as their demand for a solution to the southeast issue that entails "the continuation of the fight" against the PKK. Ergil asserts that "the language of peace is a reconciliatory one and the medium for peace is democracy. If any party proposed more (state) violence to end sub-state violence, this would only help to extend violence and suffering, not end it."

    Turkey Claims Ownership of Jerusalem

    After casting a glance at the British-Zionist cooperation that wrested Jerusalem from the Turks in 1917, Erdal Safak, in his column for Sabah, quotes an unnamed "important" personality from the Turkish Foreign Ministry as saying that Turkey will never allow any change in the status of Jerusalem because the Turks are the last owners of Jerusalem, adding that Turkey regards the Qidron Valley in Jerusalem as its own boundary and any Israeli soldier crossing that line is regarded in Turkey as a soldier of occupation. As such, any incursion of an Israeli soldier into the Al-Aqsa mosque will be regarded as the violation of Turkey's own border and draw a strong reaction from Turkey. From this statement of the Turkish official Safak concludes that Turkey regards Jerusalem not as a foreign but a domestic problem.

    /ES


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