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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-11-24

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. 222/09 24.11.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Davutoglu: Developments will take place in Cyprus
  • [02] A mass demonstration was held in the occupied areas against a legislation regarding the re-arrangements of salaries in Public sector
  • [03] Eroglu stated that it takes two for an agreement and until ground is reached the state will be strengthened
  • [04] Alexander Downer to brief the UN Security Council on the Cyprus negotiations
  • [05] Erdogan discussed the Cyprus problem with Gordon Brown; He is expected to ask the support of President Obama for a four-party summit and a timetable in the negotiating process
  • [06] Details about the Karpaz Bay Resort with a marina under construction in occupied Aegialousa by UK businessman David Lewis
  • [07] The President of the Real Estate Agencies Union and sources who asked to remain anonymous told Todays Zaman that numerous Israeli companies are investing in occupied Cyprus
  • [08] MIT trains the administrators of the energy companies
  • [09] The Democratic Left Peoples Party has been established in Turkey
  • [10] Roma, Alevis and minorities are next in line in governments initiative
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] From the Turkish Press of 23 November 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Davutoglu: Developments will take place in Cyprus

    Under the above title Turkish daily Cumhuriyet newspaper (23.11.09) reports the following:

    Kizilcahamam: The Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu, who was making evaluations to the parliamentarians regarding the foreign policy at the AKP camp which is located at Kizilcahamam, gave the message that important developments might take place in Cyprus. Mr Davutoglu, who also gave information about the ongoing negotiations between the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot side, said: There are some issues which are developing. I cannot say something because of state interests. When the time comes, they will be announced; at this time it is early to state some things.

    Davutoglu, noting that while progress is made in the foreign policy of Turkey the opposition exerts efforts to degrade it, by saying that there is slipping off the axis, said: A country which is a great power in the region, like Turkey, cannot establish one-axis relations anymore. The axis is not slipping, the diplomatic field of Turkey has been expanded, he stated.

    (CS)

    [02] A mass demonstration was held in the occupied areas against a legislation regarding the re-arrangements of salaries in Public sector

    Illegal Bayrak television (23.11.09) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Police used tear gas to disperse protestors who gathered in front of the TRNC parliament. It came as a mass demonstration was held by 28 trade unions during a parliamentary session on a draft legislation concerning the rearrangement of salaries and other payments of Public Sector Employees.

    A clamour occurred between police forces and the protestors when protestors wanted to walk in front of the Parliament and were blocked by the police. Seventeen (17) protestors were arrested during the unrest. Angry protestors then marched to the police headquarters to demand the release of their companions. Separately, some trade unions also went on strike at various workplaces, calling for the withdrawal of the draft law.

    All the Turkish Cypriot dailies report on their first pages on the protest action and the strike which 28 trade unions in the occupied areas of Cyprus held yesterday in front of the self-styled assembly, in order to protest the draft law regarding the salaries and other benefits of the workers in the public sector. According to the paper, during the demonstration of the Trade Union Platform, a clash erupted between the police and the protestors when the protestors wanted to march in front of the self-styled assembly and were blocked by the police. Sixteen persons were arrested and tear gas was used to disperse protestors who gathered in front of the TRNC parliament. The papers report also that the draft law was finally approved by the assembly with the majority of votes.

    Following are the front page titles of the Turkish Cypriot dailies on the issue:

    KIBRIS: Tension day

    AFRIKA: Annihilation

    YENI DUZEN: Shame on them

    VATAN: Election provocation

    ORTAM: This is UBP, this is fascism

    HAVADIS: Dangerous tension

    VOLKAN: They attacked our police

    BAKIS: Did UBP make an undertaking for the riots?

    KIBRISLI: Eroglus nightmare came back

    (AK)

    [03] Eroglu stated that it takes two for an agreement and until ground is reached the state will be strengthened

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (24.11.09) under the title We can live side by side with the Greek Cypriots reports on statements made yesterday by the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu during his speech at the assembly. Mr Eroglu stated, inter alia, that if there is no solution after the conclusion of the negotiation talks, then we can live side by side with the Greek Cypriots. He also said that in order for an agreement to be reached, two sides are necessary and that until a ground for agreement is reached, efforts will be made to strengthen the state.

    (AK)

    [04] Alexander Downer to brief the UN Security Council on the Cyprus negotiations

    Illegal Bayrak television (23.11.09) broadcast the following:

    As the Cyprus negotiations process continues with one of the toughest and critical topic property, the United Nations is preparing to discuss the course of the Cyprus peace talks.

    Its been announced that the United Nations Secretary-Generals Special Adviser for Cyprus Alexander Downer will visit New York at the beginning of December. During this visit, Mr Downer will come together with the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and will have discussions with the Cyprus group within the UN.He will also brief the United Nations Security Council on the course of the Cyprus negotiation process.

    [05] Erdogan discussed the Cyprus problem with Gordon Brown; He is expected to ask the support of President Obama for a four-party summit and a timetable in the negotiating process

    Under the title We are ready to evacuate our bases in Cyprus, Turkish Hurriyet newspaper (24.11.09) reports that during a telephone conversation he held the day before yesterday with the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the British Premier Gordon Brown told him that Britain supports the negotiating process in Cyprus. If necessary we are ready to evacuate the British bases in Cyprus, was the message given by Mr Brown, according to the paper.

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (24.11.09), under the title, The target in Cyprus is four-party summit, reports that Ankara has pressed the button for convincing the Greek Cypriots in the ongoing negotiations between the Turks and the Greeks in Cyprus. On December 7, Prime Minister Erdogan will give the message to the US President Obama that a timetable should be created at the process.

    Duygu Guvenc, Sabahs correspondent in Ankara, reports that Turkey has pressed the button for the negotiations in Cyprus to be concluded with a new referendum. The target is, through an uninterrupted negotiating process as in Burgenstock or in Camp David, to go to a voting in the beginning of 2010 before the elections in the island are held, notes the paper and adds:

    Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan asked from the British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, with whom he held a telephone conversation the day before yesterday, the support of Britain as guarantor power for the intensification of the negotiating process. A full support to the process came from London, which had previously stated that it could take facilitating steps in its bases on the island. Brown had a positive approach to the proposal of the intensification of the process within a concrete timetable under the auspices of the UN.

    Under the subtitle, Support from the USA will be asked, the paper writes:

    Erdogan will give the message to the US President Obama in Washington, which he will visit on 7 December, that the support of the USA for the setting of a timetable in the negotiating process is very important.

    In spite of the decision to examine the negotiations with Turkey in December, it is expected from the EU to take a decision saying the following: While the negotiations in Cyprus continue, the EU Council decided to examine its decision in a next summit. We are expecting the process to end with a solution.

    The first positive reply to the letter sent by Prime Minister Erdogan to the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou has come through the Embassy in Athens. Minister Davutoglu, who will go to Athens on 1st and 2nd of December for the OSCE meeting, will ask the starting of negotiations similar to Camp David or those in Burgenstock in 2004. Athens approached positively the call of Erdogan who said we shall encourage the Turkish side and you encourage the Greek side. However, while Greece and the Greek Cypriot Sector want the EU to be involved in this process besides the UN, Ankara opposes to the role of the EU. Convening a joint Council of Ministers with Athens is also included in the target. It was found out that the first step in this direction will be taken between Davutoglu and Papandreou.

    Moreover, the paper writes that the exchange of letters between Mr Erdogan and Mr Papandreou is expected to have positive contribution to the negotiations in Cyprus. Turkey wants to organize a four-party summit between the TRNC, the Greek Cypriot Sector and Greece, notes the paper.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Details about the Karpaz Bay Resort with a marina under construction in occupied Aegialousa by UK businessman David Lewis

    Turkish Cypriot weekly Cyprus Today newspaper (21.11.09) reports the following:

    Karpaz Bay Resorts marina is set to become a new entry point for visitors to North Cyprus.

    The 200 million Yeni Erenkoy [occupied Aegialousa] projects first stage will be concluded with the construction of the 300-berth Karpaz Gate Marina. That should be in 2011 if negotiations with the government go smoothly.

    The marina, which is being built by maritime construction company Sea-Alliance, will have customs, duty-free shops and immigration facilities to allow visitors on yachts to enter the island through the Karpaz, rather than having to use the ports of Gazi Magusa [occupied Famagusta] and Girne [occupied Keryneia].

    The Karpaz Gate Marina is being built on the concept of a yacht hotel and its inner basin will contain six floating pontoons. The marina is designed for yachts ranging between seven metres and 65 metres long. Water and electricity facilities will be provided at each berth and yachts will also be able to refuel.

    There will also be a Marina House which will include offices, a yacht club, health club, swimming pool, laundry services, restaurant, ship chandlery and nightclub.

    A dry dock with a travel lift for up to 150 tons will also be present in the marina for repair and maintenance purposes. The marinas planned dry dock will be one of the biggest in the eastern Mediterranean.

    The Turkish Cypriot consultant on the project, who asked not to be named, said that the initial aim had been to complete the marina this year. Its construction, which began at the end of 2005, was suspended after the contracting company Dalsan couldnt meet its commitments.

    Because the project requires expertise and is more expensive to build, it took time to gather the necessary team of workers, the consultant said.

    The marinas breakwater is being constructed with the caisson system which has been used since the 1930s. Three floating cranes, brought in from Turkey and Israel, are being used to put the 200-ton caissons in place with the help of six full-time working divers.

    The whole project, which is made up of a marina, two modern hotels, a holiday village and landscaping, is planned to be finished in 2022. The consultant said a plan had been drawn up to develop the project in three-year stages. Once the first stage, which is the marina, is completed, the construction of the hotels will begin.

    Karpaz Bay Resort is owned by UK businessman David Lewis, who visited North Cyprus last month to conduct meetings with TRNC officials.

    [07] The President of the Real Estate Agencies Union and sources who asked to remain anonymous told Todays Zaman that numerous Israeli companies are investing in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (23.11.09) reports the following:

    The highest foreign demand for fixed assets in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC), which has been on the rise recently in parallel with global shifts in the direction of foreign investment amidst a world-wide economic crisis, is coming from Israeli investors, a KKTC real estate market specialist has said.

    The president of the KKTC Real Estate Agencies Union, Hasan Sungur, said Israelis are showing the greatest interest in KKTC land and homes after Turks. The country, which is recognized as an independent state only by Turkey on the international stage, is especially attractive to foreigners because of its high potential for tourism. Most of the foreign investors are rushing to northern Cyprus to snap up a share in the construction of hotel and other tourism complexes. Besides this inflow of capital in the form of foreign investments, foreigners are spending a sizeable amount of money to acquire land and real estate. Sungur indicates the current laws limit the foreign ownership of land to 5,000 square meters at most. This limit even applies to Turkish citizens because the investors coming from Turkey are also counted as foreigners, he added. The KKTC Estate Agent law that came into effect in January 2008 also renders it illegal for anyone other than a fully Government Registered Estate Agent to sell property. However, foreigners are flouting the rules by purchasing lands through shell companies, which seem to have been established by KKTC local citizens, he said.

    Sungur draws attention to the fact that Israeli investors have recently increased the real estate purchases in the capital city of Lefkosia [occupied Lefkosia] and in Girne [occupied Keryneia], especially the Esentepe [occupied Agios Amvrosios] district. In addition, Israeli companies are actively investing in a number of infrastructure projects in the KKTC. For example, the TAHAL Group International, an Israeli engineering company, has won a public tender to create a sea water distillation plant in Bafra [occupied Vokolida] and Gazimagusa. In Girne, there are five construction companies which have Israeli owners or partners. Sungur also said there are several thousand buildings constructed by Israeli companies in districts on the Karpaz Peninsula.

    Speaking to Todays Zaman, officials at the Cyprus Turkish Investment Agency (YAGA) say there are numerous Israeli companies investing in KKTC but say revealing the names of these companies is not allowed. In addition, prominent Turkish businessman Besim Tibuk, who chairs Net Holding and who was presiding over the Liberal Party, is said to be in talks with Israeli financers over a partnership in the construction of a holiday village in the KKTC.

    Meanwhile, sources that asked to remain anonymous said 11 large companies from Israel were recently heading to the KKTC for investment purposes but had to cancel the trip because of harsh opposition from Greek Cyprus.

    Foreign companies usually shy away from investing in the KKTC because of its dubious and wavering international situation as well as the lawsuits opened by Greek Cypriots. Already a member of the European Union, the Greek administration in the south claims it is the single legal representative of the entire island in the international community and Greek Cypriots are still claiming rights of possession on land that remained in the northern part after Turkeys military intervention in 1974 to protect the Turkish population on the island from being massacred.

    [08] MIT trains the administrators of the energy companies

    Under the above title, Turkish Sabah newspaper (24.11.09) reports that the National Intelligence Organization (MIT), that is the Turkish secret services, have gone into action due to the increased influence of Turkey in the international field of energy. Together with Turkeys energy sector which exceeds 200 billion dollars, the joint projects with countries wealthy in the field of energy, the investments of foreign companies and the projects of transferring oil and natural gas from the Turkish soil are included in the field of interest of MIT. The high ranking officials of the important energy companies are trained by MIT on how to handle the secret information.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] The Democratic Left Peoples Party has been established in Turkey

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.11.09) reports the following:

    A new political party titled "Democratic Left People's Party" (DSHP) was founded in Turkey. Interior Ministry approved the party's foundation petition on Monday.Hulki Cevizoglu, one of the founder members of the party, told reporters that they founded the party to find solutions to economic and political difficulties of Turkey as well as to maintain anti-imperialist, fair and equality lines of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk --the founder of Republic of Turkey-- and one of the former prime ministers deceased Bulent Ecevit.

    Cevizoglu said that Bulent Ecevit's wife Rahsan Ecevit also took part in the founder board of the party. Cevizoglu said that they were determined to fulfil principles of Bulent Ecevit and protect anti-imperialist line of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. He added that DSHP had 103 members.

    Hulki Cevizoglu, born in 1958 in Giresun, is a journalist, writer and a TV program producer. He began journalism in 1981 in Hurriyet daily, and worked for eight years. He also worked in various press organizations. Cevizoglu has been producing a TV program as "Ceviz Kabugu" since 1994. Cevizoglu is expected to be the chairman of DSHP.

    [10] Roma, Alevis and minorities are next in line in governments initiative

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (24.11.09) reports the following under the above title:

    The government has vowed to continue its commitment to push on with a democratic initiative that includes expanding rights to previously disadvantaged groups and communities, starting with the countrys Kurds, despite resistance from opposition parties to the plan. Now the government has rolled up its sleeves to expand the democratic initiative to non-Muslim minorities, Alevis and Roma.

    Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and his Justice and Development Party (AK Party) met this weekend for the 14th Consultation and Evaluation Caucus of the party in Ankaras Kizilcahamam district where they decided on a roadmap they will be pursuing in the period up to the 2011 general election. Alevis, the Roma and some non-Muslim communities that have a minority status under the law will be included in the democratic initiative package that began as a Kurdish initiative this summer.

    The AK Party this weekend discussed what strategy could be used against the opposition as well as other groups who stand opposed to democratic reforms. The party leadership decided on individuals who will have the authority to make statements for the party and the government in the initiative process. These individuals are Prime Minister Erdogan, Interior Minister Besir Atalay, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, Chief EU negotiator Egemen Bagis, deputy chairmen of the AK Party Huseyin Celik, Salih Kapusuz and Omer Celik; and deputy chairmen of the AK Partys parliamentary group Bekir Bozdag and Suat Kilic. According to the new strategy, nobody except these individuals has the authority to make statements on the initiative.

    AK Party deputies were again given the red lines that are never to be crossed when implementing reforms to actualize the democratic initiatives. Every move has to comply with the first three articles of the Constitution. According to this, Turkeys unitary structure, flag and official language will not be changed.

    The government has also decided to bring back half the population of the Makhmour refugee camp located in northern Iraq for Kurdish migrants --a decision reached at the end of talks with United Nations officials. The fate of those remaining will be left in the hands of the UN.

    Also this weekend, the state minister in charge of the Religious Affairs Directorate, Faruk Celik, said the government has planned new legislation to expand the rights of Alevis in Turkey as a community. He said that the government will be holding the last of a series of workshops on the Alevi question on December 17, noting that steps to be taken to address problems faced by Alevis will be announced after this date.

    So far, the government has heard Alevi demands in four workshops held to date. A report combining these demands will be compiled at the end of the next workshop, deciding the governments plans on the issue. The government has gathered under four main headings the demands of those Alevi organizations that it says are reasonable, but it will not heed the demands of more radical groups and those organizations formed by Alevis who reside in Europe.

    One of the demands some Alevi groups conveyed to the government was their request to have Alevi dedes, or spiritual leaders, included on the payroll of the Religious Affairs Directorate and the Culture Ministry. The government is likely to meet this demand. A second such request likely to be met is including cemevleri, Alevi places of worship, as places of worship whose utility bills are paid for by the state. The Religious Affairs Directorate will also be allocating some of its funds to cemevleri.

    Subtitle: The Roma, non-Muslims and minorities

    The government will be coming together in December with 87 Roma organizations to address problems faced by the Roma in Turkey.

    Mustafa Aksu, the Honorary President of the Federation of Gypsy Cultural Associations, told Todays Zaman that since 2002, the government has resolved some of the most important issues faced by the Roma, such as the elimination of discriminatory phrases about the Roma from school textbooks and officially authorized dictionaries.

    The government will also be working on a plan to meet the demands of leaders of minorities according to their legal definition in Turkey and other non-Muslim groups, such as the Syriacs, who are non-Muslims but not considered minorities under the law. On Aug. 15, Erdogan got together with leaders of Armenian, Greek, Jewish and Syriac communities and asked them to submit a report on their problems. These groups have relayed their demands to the Foreign Ministry and the Interior Ministry. The government is hoping to meet most of these demands that do not call for Constitutional changes. Most of the demands of non-Muslim communities can easily be met through changes to laws and regulations. For some other demands, the legal infrastructure exists but these are not being enforced accordingly. The government will work to enforce these laws.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] From the Turkish Press of 23 November 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 23 November 2009:

    a) Foreign Policy issues

    In his article in Milliyet columnist Kadri Gursel refers to the Iran session that was held at the "Halifax International Security Forum." Faulting AKP Deputy Murat Mercan, one of the speakers at the "Iran" session, for contending that only holding dialogue with Iran and not sanctions or confrontational policies would yield results, Gursel notes that this view perhaps can be partially justified, but it would have been better if Mercan reiterated the three points put forth by Turkish diplomats instead. Gursel concludes that the three points are: that Turkey is aware that Iranian nuclear power would lead to great imbalances in the region, that Turkey always warns Iran that it should persuade the world about the peaceful purposes of its nuclear program, and that Turkey --in accordance with the international agreements to which it is a party-- implements a serious customs check in order to prevent "equipment that can be used for military and civilian purposes" from passing into Iranian hands.

    In an article entitled "The breach that the Prime Minister has created in the castle wall" in Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak lauds Prime Minister Erdogan for insisting on pursuing "crazy" policies like "confronting Turkey with the Kurdish issue," "fighting the deep state," and conducting "integration" initiatives with Turkey's "Muslim neighbours," in this way popularizing these policies, making them "commonplace," and "even" causing them to become part of mainstream intellectual and political life in Turkey with the result that the intelligentsia can discuss these once "taboo" subjects with impunity. Albayrak further lauds Erdogan and President Gul for "turning a new page in Republican history where an unjust past can be questioned for the sake of creating a just future" and "the psychological groundwork for a new Turkey that has done away with coercion can be laid."

    In an article entitled "Would the US government put pressure on Ankara in favour of Ergenekon?", Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan expresses disapproval of the way in which "critics" of the Ergenekon probe like Gareth Jenkins are making conclusive judgments about the trial before it has been completed and formulating "conspiracy theories" about the probe "not supported by evidence." Aslan cites certain remarks by Svante Cornell, Director of the Johns Hopkins Central Asia-Caucasus Institute, which "encouraged and financed Jenkins' report," as a clue about Jenkins' true agenda, asserting that "fears" of the prospect of a Turkey dominated by a conservative and religious government appear to have made Westerners like Jenkins and Cornell willing to condone the mistakes of the Turkish establishment including the TSK.

    In an article entitled "What if the EU slams the door on Turkey?", Today's Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay explains why he is "cautiously optimistic about Turkey moving on to consolidate a liberal and pluralistic democracy, whether the EU slams the door on it or not."

    b) Election of EU President

    Joost Lagendijk articulates his disappointment in the election of Belgian Prime Minister Herman van Rompuy as the first EU president and British EU Trade Commissioner Catherine Ashton as the new European foreign minister, in an article in Hurriyet Daily News.com. Pointing out that the election of Rompuy indicates that strong EU member states like France, Germany, and the United Kingdom prefer to "deal directly with Washington and Beijing," Lagendijk adds that "two persons whose major quality is their dedication to making compromises" were elected. Despite his opposition to Turkey's EU membership, Rompuy will construct a Turkey policy that is supported by all member states, Lagendijk maintains, and suggests that Turkey focuses on Lady Ashton and stimulates her to promote Turkish accession to the EU.

    In his column, Milliyet's Semih Idiz also views the impact of Rompuy's election as the new EU president, noting that Rompuy was elected for his "conciliatory personality," which is not expected to "rock the boat." Ankara, especially the AKP is concerned that Rompuy's election would increase the mistrust that the public feels about the EU, Idiz observes. He adds, however, that there is no need for Ankara to be concerned since Rompuy will mainly deal with the "internal" and not the "external" problems of the EU.

    In an article in Sabah, Omer Taspinar strongly criticizes Rompuy's election to the EU presidency, noting that the strong member states of the EU, like France and Germany, supported Rompuy's candidacy because he can attain accord among the 27 member states. This clearly demonstrates that the EU members do not have a common target or strategic vision, Taspinar opines, adding that, as a result, a weak compromise and a visionless EU policy appear. He asserts that those who ask whether Turkey is moving away from the EU should look at the "miserable state of the EU." Taspinar concludes that the real question is: "How can the strategically poor EU win Turkey over?"

    EG/


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