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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-11-12

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. 214/09 12.11.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat informed the self-styled MPs about the Cyprus negotiation process
  • [02] Eroglu wants the territory of the British base of Dhekelia to be given to the Turkish Cypriots and the territory of Akrotiri to the Greek Cypriots
  • [03] The Turkish Stars will once more violate the airspace of the Republic of Cyprus on 15 November
  • [04] Yasar Yakis to participate in the North Cyprus and European Relations conferences to be held by the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University
  • [05] Gunay Cerkez is the new chairman Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade
  • [06] Putting sanctions on Turkey for the ports became difficult
  • [07] The illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines at the verge of bankruptcy
  • [08] Turkey and Morocco in the bid to boost commerce between them
  • [09] The number of the parties in the Turkish Parliament
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [10] Turkish columnist comments on the British proposal to Turkey of withdrawing its troop from Cyprus

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat informed the self-styled MPs about the Cyprus negotiation process

    Illegal Bayrak television (11.11.09) broadcast the following:

    The Cyprus problem was on the agenda of the Republics Assembly today. The TRNC Parliament convened for an extraordinary session this morning, during which President Mehmet Ali Talat briefed MPs on the latest stage reached in the negotiations process.

    Speaking to reporters before entering todays session, President Mehmet Ali Talat said that the Republics Assembly will have the final say if and when an agreement is reached at the negotiating table. He said that the solution plan will then be put to the peoples vote if approved by the TRNC parliament.

    Todays closed-door session took place following a request by the Speaker of the Republics Assembly Hasan Bozer. Mr Talat informed the MPs and exchanged views about the latest developments on the talks carried out with the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias.

    Responding to questions before entering the session, the President pointed out that the aim of todays extraordinary session was to inform the parliament on the latest stage reached in the talks and to listen to the views of MPs. In the end it will be our parliament which will have the final say. At the very end, if approved, the solution plan will be put to the peoples vote, he said, adding that all state institutions will be active when preparing the law that will pave the way for a referendum. It will be up to the Republics Assembly to prepare the law for the referendum. That is why it is important that we inform our institutions on the latest developments. Everything is carried out in close dialogue and consultation with the government as well as parliament, he added.

    Responding to question on the British governments offer to cede part of sovereign bases area in the event of a settlement, Talat reminded that a similar offer had been made in the 2004 Annan Plan. He however added that no detailed discussions had been held on the issue yet and that the matter will be evaluated when the chapter on territory is taken up. The President also described the UKs offer as an initiative aimed at encouraging the Greek Cypriot side to work harder for a solution. The fact that this announcement came just before Christofias visit to Britain demonstrates that they want to encourage the Greek Cypriot side, the President said.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (12.11.09) publishes the statements made by the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat after his briefing to the self-styled assembly, which convened for an extraordinary session yesterday, in order to evaluate the latest developments on the Cyprus problem. During the meeting, which lasted for about four hours, Mr Talat briefed the assembly regarding the negotiating process and replied to the questions of the MPs.

    Speaking to the press after the meeting, Mr Talat stated that it was a good discussion and added that next week he will hold separate meetings with the officials of the political parties. Mr Talat said, inter alia, that the parties and the assembly must be informed for every phase of the negotiations very often.

    Asked on the issues discussed during the meeting, Mr Talat stated that the discussion was free on every issue and that they discussed the property issue, and other issues such as the executive and the governance and power sharing. He said that they also discussed the issues of the territory and security.

    (CS)

    [02] Eroglu wants the territory of the British base of Dhekelia to be given to the Turkish Cypriots and the territory of Akrotiri to the Greek Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.11.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu has argued that the proposal of the United Kingdom to return a part its bases in Cyprus in case a solution is reached means nothing from the point of view of the ongoing negotiations process. In statements yesterday before the meeting of the council of ministers, Mr Eroglu said only the withdrawal of the UK from the bases could mean something.

    Mr Eroglu expressed his sorrow for the fact that while Britain claims that it is sovereign in the area of the bases, it does not accept that the Turkish Cypriots are sovereign people and have sovereign territory.

    Noting that when the Republic of Cyprus joined the EU, the territory of the British bases was left outside the EU territory, Mr Eroglu said: I am not sure that this proposal will be materialized. He argued that 2.5% of the territory of the TRNC, as he described the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, is a British base. If it gives 0.5% of this, what will happen, he wondered and alleged that the territory is a very sensitive issue for them, while this amount of territory will not mean very much for Britain.

    Mr Eroglu argued:

    I do not think that Britains giving some territory from the bases will contribute to the agreement in Cyprus. I could understand it, if it said, I am leaving Dhekelia to the Turks and Akrotiri to the Greeks.

    Mr Eroglu reiterated the allegation that the TRNC exists and it is the strongest weapon of the Turkish Cypriot leader at the negotiating table.

    (ITs)

    [03] The Turkish Stars will once more violate the airspace of the Republic of Cyprus on 15 November

    Under the title, Pride for the 26th anniversary, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (12.11.09) refers to the celebrations for the 26th anniversary of the unilateral declaration of independence (UDI) and reports that the airplanes of the Turkish army known as Turkish Stars will participate in the celebrations in the morning of the 15th of November. At 11:57 hours the Turkish Stars are expected to carry out aerobatic show above the ceremony, which will take place at Dr. Fazil Kucuk Boulevard in the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    The paper reports that the celebrations for the UDI will end on 21 November.

    (ITs)

    [04] Yasar Yakis to participate in the North Cyprus and European Relations conferences to be held by the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (12.11.09) reports that the Strategic Research Centre of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU-SAM) is organizing a series of conferences today and tomorrow under the title North Cyprus and European Relations. According to the paper, eight panels will be organized in the framework of the conference and 25 participants from Kirgizstan, the UK, Turkey, the occupied areas of Cyprus, Poland, Kosovo and Malaysia are expected to give presentations.

    Speaking during the opening ceremony of the conference, the vice-president of DAU-SAM, Dr. Halil Nadiri, said, inter alia, that special speeches will be delivered during the conferences by Yasar Yakis, former Foreign Minister of Turkey, chairman of the EU Harmonization Committee in the Turkish Parliament and MP with AKP as well as from Andrew Duff, Member of European Parliaments Alliance Group of Democrats and Liberals for Europe. According to the paper, Mr Yasar Yakis is expected to deliver a speech on the issue Cyprus issue: The possibilities for the solution in the context of the EU, while Mr Duff will deliver a speech with the title Is Cyprus European? It is the time to decide.

    (AK)

    [05] Gunay Cerkez is the new chairman Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade

    Under the title, Gunay Cerkez is the new chairman of TCCT, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (12.11.09) reports that Gunay Cerkez was elected last night in the position of the of the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade. According to the paper, Cerkez was the only candidate for this position.

    (AK)

    [06] Putting sanctions on Turkey for the ports became difficult

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Sabah newspapers (12.11.09) correspondent from Brussels, Duygu Leloglu reports that the decision of Germany and France to follow an even more moderate policy regarding Turkeys membership to the European Union, has made impossible the materialization of the request of the Republic of Cyprus for putting sanctions to Turkey for not opening its ports to Cyprus. The paper writes that the diplomatic softening observed in France and Germany will influence the decision of the EU on the ports.

    In the light of the latest developments, it has become impossible for the Greek Cypriot administration to persuade on the issue of implementing sanctions to Turkey during its full accession negotiations for the issue of the ports which will constitute the main topic on the agenda of the Summit at the level of Heads of State of the 27 countries of the EU, reports Mrs Leloglu and adds that in diplomatic circles in the EU, it is said that the only decision which could be taken on the issue of the ports is the Republic of Cyprus to unilaterally postpone some chapters in the accession negotiations of Turkey with the EU.

    It is said that the Greek Cypriots will not be able to take by their side even the Papandreou government of Greece, alleges Mrs Leloglu and notes that concerns exist that possible sanctions on Turkey will shadow the ongoing process for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem.

    Under the subtitle, The twelfth stop in the EU, the paper writes the following:

    Concretely, the softening in France will be reflected positively to the full accession negotiations conducted between the EU and Turkey. It is noted that the fact that the French President realized the importance of the bilateral relations with Turkey is located behind the fact that Sarkozy does not insist now on the privileged partnership. It is also noted that the French business circles, which want to make business with Turkey, have influenced Sarkozy on the issue of changing his approach against Turkey. The only chapter to be opened during the Swedish term presidency will be the policies on the environment. Thus, the number of the chapters opened at the negotiations, which include 35 chapters, will reach to 12.

    [07] The illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines at the verge of bankruptcy

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (12.11.09) reports the following:

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC) Transportation Minister Hasan Tocay has revealed that Cyprus Turkish Airlines (KTHY) incurred losses of TL 57 million in 2008 due to mismanagement, which nearly bankrupt the company.

    Speaking to Todays Zaman last week, Tocay revealed that tickets for flights between Istanbul and northern Cyprus, worth 180 to 220 Euros, were being sold for 25 Euros, incurring incredible losses. As seats were filled, the cost of flying the planes would also increase, a phenomenon that broke the usual revenue rules of the airline business.

    After Erol Atakan became the new chairman of the KTHY executive board in July, he ordered an investigation into how, with the increase in the number of passengers on planes, the cost of flying was going up. Atakan, investigating the old financial accounts of the previous board, found that company management had made agreements to sell tickets at loss-incurring prices.

    As the investigation deepened, irregularities were found in the costs of maintaining and leasing planes and in the number of personnel, among other expenses. After noticing these irregularities, the new KTHY executive board asked for support from Turkish Airlines (THY) to investigate further. After meeting with the KKTC Ministry of Transportation, KTHY decided to stop selling tickets to resellers under old contracts for 25 Euros. The new management is expecting to end this year with TL 60 million in losses.

    Subtitle: More than just ticket prices

    KTHYs losses are not restricted to its underpriced tickets. The maintenance and leasing costs of planes and the excessive number of personnel have also raised eyebrows. While THYs rent costs per plane hover around $240,000, KTHY paid $340,000 per plane. Moreover, the number of personnel per KTHY plane was 150, three times more than the international standard of 50. For a company that needs 250 people to operate, there are 700 people working, at an annual personnel cost of TL 24 million.

    Highlighting that he noticed the severity of these losses after joining the KTHY executive board, Atakan stated: After our investigations, we realized we had a live grenade in our laps. We will not let the people responsible for these incredible losses go free. We will be taking the necessary steps to sue them for their carelessness and incompetence.

    Minister Tocay has stated that if necessary, he will block distribution of tickets purchased under the scope of the old contracts to resellers. Atakan added that the new executive board will work to make up for these losses and that they have made ticket contracts worth 112 million Euros for 2011.

    [08] Turkey and Morocco in the bid to boost commerce between them

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (12.11.09) reports the following:

    A trade and investment bridge between Turkey and Morocco organized by the Turkish Confederation of Businessmen and Industrialists (TUSKON) in a bid to boost commerce between the two countries kicked off yesterday in Casablanca and will run through November 13, with the attendance of Industry and Trade Minister Nihat Ergun along with a trade mission of more than 80 businessmen.

    Turkish firms attending the event will be briefed trade and investment opportunities in Morocco by the countrys officials. TUSKON announced in a written statement that the companies will also have a chance to have talks with Moroccan firms operating in various sectors.

    Apart from Ergun, Turkish Ambassador to Morocco Haluk Ilicak, Casablanca Chamber of Commerce President Hassane Berkani, Casablanca Mayor Mohamed Sajid and TUSKON Chairman Rizanur Meral were set to attend the meeting.

    Trade volume between Turkey and Morocco has been in an upward trend since 2004. A free trade agreement between Turkey and Morocco that took effect on January 1, 2006 has also contributed to the increase in trade between the two countries.

    TUSKON also organized a Turkey-Egypt Business Forum on Tuesday during which Rachid Mohamed Rachid, the Egyptian minister of industry and trade, said Egyptian companies are set to make two major investments in the Turkish healthcare/pharmaceuticals and construction sectors. Declining to give detailed information, Rachid only stated that the investments will be worth of hundreds of millions of dollars. Tangible steps will be taken in 2010. Detailed information will be given in the coming weeks or months, he said.

    [09] The number of the parties in the Turkish Parliament

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (11.11.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    The number of political parties, which are represented at Turkish Parliament increased. Mesut Yilmaz, a parliamentarian from the northern province of Rize, joined Democrat Party (DP), and the number of political parties represented at Parliament increased from six to seven.

    After, Yilmaz's joining DP, the distribution of parliamentarians at Parliament is as follows:

    Justice and Development Party (AK Party): 338

    Republican People's Party (CHP): 97

    Nationalist Movement Party (MHP): 69

    Democratic Society Party (DTP): 21

    Independent: 9

    Democratic Left Party (DSP): 8

    Democrat Party (DP): 1

    Turkey Party: 1

    Vacant: 6

    Total: 550


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [10] Turkish columnist comments on the British proposal to Turkey of withdrawing its troop from Cyprus

    Under the title, Signs that it is now Cyprus turn, Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (10.11.09) published the following commentary by Orhan Birgit:

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will officially inaugurate discussion on the first segment of the Democratic Overture Plan at today's session of the Turkish Grand National Assembly.

    After addresses by spokespersons of the government and opposition party groups, a vote will be taken on whether to put a general discussion of the issue on the agenda. The general discussion will begin after Minister of the Interior Besir Atalay briefs the parliament with an off-agenda speech. The process will be completed on Thursday after Erdogan answers questions by [Republican People's Party General Chairman Deniz] Baykal --if Baykal takes the podium.

    Will [Nationalist Action Party General Chairman Devlet] Bahceli participate in the debate? Or will he pursue a strategy of fielding spokespersons to fire off hard-to-digest and severe attacks on Erdogan, as he did at his party's grand convention on Sunday?

    What is quite clear is that we have reached the stage of phasing in the three separate sections of the overture package one after another.

    An important visit that reinforces this impression occurred when British Foreign Minister David Miliband arrived in Ankara about ten days ago. Miliband's talks in Ankara --which took place against a background of a confrontation between the Justice and Development Party and the Turkish Armed Forces over the "wet signature" incident--, were aimed at bringing the ongoing negotiations in Cyprus to a conclusion before April. Miliband also reportedly proposed that the guarantorship rights granted by the London and Zurich agreements [of 1960] --to which his country is also a signatory-- be re-interpreted. These rights were included in the agreements to deter any negative developments on the island.

    Subtitle: 'Withdraw your Soldiers'

    In plain language, the proposal can be described as follows: The Turkish army unit that has been stationed in northern Cyprus since the Peace Operation of 20 July 1974 should return to Turkey "because they will no longer be needed for the security of our kinsmen."

    Turkey's acceptance of this withdrawal --which Greece and the Greek Cypriot administration have emphatically demanded for a long time-- would ensure that the [intercommunal] talks on island would conclude before April and clear the way for the establishment of the loose federation that the United States and the EU want in Cyprus.

    Is there anyone who does not know what this would mean for Erdogan in Ankara and ["Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus President" Mehmet Ali] Talat in Nicosia?

    Even today, Talat recounts proudly how angry and upset he was when he heard that the KKTC [Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus] was declared on the night of 15 November 1983. In the meantime, Prime Minister Erdogan advised him not to work too hard to gain recognition for the KKTC. Consequently, it is "no secret" that both of these men favour a federation of this type to take hold on the island. That outcome would mean the demilitarization of Cyprus that is the return of Turkish soldiers to Mersin on ships departing from [occupied] Famagusta.

    Subtitle: Cekirge's Article

    The first harbinger of the small steps being taken to make Turkish official state policy and public opinion accept a Greek project that Turkey has opposed thus far was Fatih Cekirge's article in yesterday's Hurriyet.

    The article entitled "What Would Happen If We Withdrew?" recounts how a Greek woman shouted at State Minister for EU Affairs Egemen Baris, who was in Athens for a conference, saying: "You talk about peace but you have thousands of soldiers, occupation soldiers, there."

    According to Cekirge, the Turkish minister was not upset. Instead, "he placed a dove on his words and released them into the meeting hall." Evidently, this is the first time that a member of a Turkish government remained silent in the face of an accusation that our troops in Cyprus are "occupation soldiers." Evidently, he could not explain why Turkish soldiers went to Cyprus and how Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots have not shed each other's blood for 35 years because of their watchful presence there. He apparently did not see any need to note that an equal number of Greek soldiers stand by the side of the Greek Cypriot National Guard today. Bagis also apparently did not ask his audience in Athens, in view of their concern over occupation, why neither Greek Cypriots nor Greeks object to the presence of British bases in Cyprus for so many years.

    Evidently, not just Cekirge but also other journalists who travelled to Athens on Bagis' plane were assigned --during their return flight with the minister-- the task of preparing Turkish public opinion for a plan that will include the withdrawal of our soldiers from the island.

    Evidently, on the return flight, Cekirge asked Bagis --perhaps out of his insecurity emanating from his reputation of being pro-military-- "what would happen if we shocked the world by withdrawing our soldiers in Cyprus with an abrupt decision." His fellow travellers Mustafa Karaalioglu, Nur Batur, and Mehmet Soysal reportedly did not fail to back him.

    Yet, the minister apparently kept silent instead of offering a "gift" in that direction [word play on the name "Bagis"]. [Cekirge] attributes that silence to the requirements of the minister's responsibility to represent the state and rekindles the fire under his question by trying to start a public debate by saying: "What would happen if we withdrew our soldiers in Cyprus by putting them on the wings of doves?"

    I think that [Cekirge] should first take the time to read documents about the massacres that were perpetrated in Cyprus in the past, starting with the book about Rauf Denktas by Nur Batur who served as Hurriyet's correspondent in Athens for many years.

    Perhaps then, when he realizes the real significance of the proposed withdrawal, he might suggest the use of geese [synonymous with "stupid" in Turkish] instead of doves for transporting them.

    EG/


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