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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-12-01

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. 227/09 01.12.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] The road map of the Turkish side is reportedly being finalized in Ankara
  • [02] Fifteen thousand tourists travelled to and from the illegal Tymvou airport during the Feast of Sacrifices
  • [03] Afrika argues that it is not easy for Turkey any more to control the settlers in the occupied part o Cyprus
  • [04] Statements by EU officials on the forthcoming EU summit
  • [05] The Supreme Military Council to discuss plot against AKP
  • [06] Turkeys EU Chief Negotiator to clarify the issues to be discussed during the EU Summit during contacts in Brussels and Strasbourg
  • [07] Egemen Bagis and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on the referendum in Switzerland
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] President Guls trade diplomacy in the next fortnight
  • [09] From the Turkish Press of 30 November 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] The road map of the Turkish side is reportedly being finalized in Ankara

    Under the title, Cyprus Summit in Ankara, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (01.12.09) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Mr Huseyin Ozgurgun, met last night at dinner in Ankara with the Turkish Foreign Minister, Mr Ahmet Davutoglu. The latest developments regarding the Cyprus problem were expected to be discussed at the meeting, which was closed to the press. Today Mr Talat is expected to meet with the Turkish President, Mr Abdullah Gul, and the Prime Minister, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (01.12.09) refers to the above-mentioned meetings under the front-page title, The road map is being determined in Ankara and reports that the road map, which has been determined recently during a meeting at the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the participation of 40 diplomats, is expected to take its final shape during the meetings held by Mr Talat and Mr Ozgurgun.

    On the same issue and under the title, The efforts on Cyprus continued during Bayram [Feast of Sacrifices], Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (01.12.09) reports on the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talats visit in Ankara and writes that this is the second time in a month Mr Talat visits the Turkish capital to get the Cyprus agenda moving.

    Turkey and the TRNC, have pressed the button to force the Greek Cypriot sector for non-stop negotiations under the auspices of the UN, as it happened in Burgenstock, and for a referendum to be held in the end, writes the paper and adds that Mehmet Ali Talat arrived in Ankara yesterday following an invitation addressed to him by the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. Mr Talat is accompanied by the self-styled foreign minister, Huseyin Ozgurgun.

    Mr Talat evaluated the latest phase of the negotiations in the island with the undersecretary of the Turkish Foreign Ministry, Mr Feridun Sinirlioglu, while he met with Mr Davutoglu in the evening. Mr Davutoglus aim is to make concrete during the visit he will pay in Athens of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogans proposal for immediate and non-stop four party negotiations, a proposal which was conveyed in the letter sent by Mr Erdogan to the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou. Mr Papandreou is expected to convey his reply to Mr Erdogan by hand during Mr Davutoglus visit, writes the paper and adds that in this framework, with Mr Talat and Mr Ozgurgun the phase of the second round of the negotiations which continue in the island will be discussed.

    Mehmet Ali Talat will meet today with the Turkish President Adbullah Gul before the latters departure for Jordan. He is also expected to meet with Mr Erdogan. Ankara will reply to President Demetris Christofias who wrote a letter accusing Turkey to the leaders of the EU member countries, who will take a decision during the EU Summit in December 7th regarding the non-implementation by Turkey of the Additional Protocol.

    Turkey will undertake an initiative through its representatives in all the EU member countries in order for the Union not to take a decision against Turkey while the negotiations in the island continue and to encourage the Greek Cypriot sector in the solution process, the reportage concludes.

    (ML)

    [02] Fifteen thousand tourists travelled to and from the illegal Tymvou airport during the Feast of Sacrifices

    Under the title, Ercan broke the record, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (01.12.09) reports that 15.000 passengers travelled to and from the illegal Tymvou (Ercan) airport with 85 flights during the last day of the Feast of Sacrifices. The paper notes that many tourists visit the occupied areas of Cyprus during holidays and most of them stay at hotels which have casinos. During the four-day Feast of Sacrifices 279 airplanes arrived at and departed from the illegal Tymvou airport, through which travelled about 50.000 persons. The paper writes that 73 airplanes landed at and departed from the illegal airport on the eve of the feast, 51 during its first day, 25 during its second day, 45 during its third day and 85 yesterday, the last day of the holiday.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (01.12.09) refers to the Feast of the Sacrifices under the title, The money to the South again, and reports that in spite of the fact that the self-styled minister of finance, Ersin Tatar called on the Turkish Cypriots to spend their money in the occupied areas of Cyprus and not to shop from the free areas of the Republic, the Turkish Cypriots thought of their pocket and thousands of them shopped and had fun in the free areas of the island during the holiday.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Afrika argues that it is not easy for Turkey any more to control the settlers in the occupied part o Cyprus

    Under the banner front-page title It is not easy, the control has been lost, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (01.12.09) wonders how influential Turkey will be in the forthcoming presidential elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to the paper, Turkey cannot dominate as much as in the past over the population in north Cyprus and it is not as easy as in the past for Ankara to direct the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus. In the past the Turkish settlers had been threatened that they would be put on ferries and sent back, but now things changed, writes the paper. Afrika reports, inter alia, the following:

    This threat is not effective any more for the children of the families from Turkey, who were born in the TRNC and many of them have not yet taken the Turkish citizenship. The difficulty which Ankara faces now in directing the elections in the TRNC was seen at the general elections on 19 April. The AKP [Justice and Development Party] officials, who came to the island in order to at least make the ORP [Freedom and Reform Party] partner in the government and worked very hard in the elections, were not able to do this. Only one way has been left for Ankara to be able to influence the elections: To open its purse. During the 19 April elections, however, this also did not work.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Statements by EU officials on the forthcoming EU summit

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (01.12.09) publishes the following under the title: Cyprus dilemma poisons Turkey-EU relations by Dondu Sariisik:

    With the European Unions next summit scheduled December 7, a train wreck is feared in Turkeys EU journey as no settlement has been reached in Cyprus to end the 35-year division on the island. The Cyprus issue is poisoning the process, a high-ranking EU official says. The Cyprus dilemma in Turkey-EU relations will once again be on the table when the European Council meets December 7 and the picture is not promising, even though new sanctions are not envisioned. 'The Cyprus issue is poisoning the process', said Jean Christophe Filori from the Turkey unit of the European Commissions Directorate General for Enlargement.

    Brussels has repeatedly urged Ankara to extend the customs-union agreement to Greek Cyprus, but Turkey has vowed not to take any further steps unless the EU lifts its trade embargo on northern Cyprus. 'Im not saying it is right, but it is a political fact over there', Filori said in a meeting with Turkish journalists in Brussels.

    Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias will reportedly seek tougher sanctions against Turkey at the December summit. But analysts do not expect more punishment for Ankara since the EU has already frozen talks in eight of 35 chapters that have to be completed to conclude membership negotiations. EU officials are expected to avoid fresh tensions that may undermine U.N.-backed peace talks between the Turkish and Greek communities on Cyprus. Though the commission conducts the accession negotiations with candidate countries, the European Parliaments approval is needed to finalize the process.

    The parliaments rapporteur on Turkey, Ria Oomen-Ruijten, has called on Turkey to normalize relations with Greek Cyprus. In a meeting with Turkish journalists in Strasbourg, Oomen-Ruijten hinted that the situation on the island would be at the centre of the upcoming EU summit. Turkey has committed to implement the Ankara protocol in 2009, Oomen-Ruijten said, adding: 'Greece and Cyprus would like to have solution as soon as possible. Therefore, we urge the Turkish government to take some concrete steps'.

    Greek Cypriots, whose government is the islands internationally recognized administration, were admitted into the EU in 2004 despite voting down a U.N. peace plan. Turkish Cypriots gave the plan overwhelming support but were left out in the cold. Turkey insists it will not extend its customs-union agreement to Greek Cyprus unless the EU keeps its promises regarding the northern side. 'The direct trade is not a deal. It was a proposal from the commission. Turkey can expect positive steps from the EU side, but it is not an obligation. Dont forget it', Oomen-Ruijten said in response to the expectations from Ankara. 'There should be positive steps on the fulfilment of the Ankara Protocol'.

    Helene Flautre, the chairwoman of the EU-Turkey Joint Parliamentary Committee, expressed a more constructive message. 'Without Turkey, my dream of Europe will be defective', Flautre said, urging all sides to contribute to a settlement in Cyprus. 'Whoever they are, all partners have to push for a solution. Otherwise, it will mean the collapse of the European project', Flautre said, calling on Greece, the European Union and the United Nations to help prevent the creation of a second wall in Europe.

    'We are aware there is a sense of injustice toward Turkey', said Richard Howitt, a member of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament. As a shadow rapporteur on Turkey, Howitt noted that progress would not possible without a solution in Cyprus. 'Turkey in good faith supported reunification', he said. 'But the Ankara Protocol is a clear promise and legally binding'.

    Croatia and Turkey are currently in negotiations for membership in the European Union, while talks have yet to start with former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia [FYROM], which has been a candidate country since 2005. Montenegro, Albania and Iceland have also applied to join the bloc. An EU official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that even Albania, which faces big challenges related to corruption, a poor economy and human rights violations, will enter the bloc before Turkey, which has to struggle with political disputes in addition to the standard criteria.

    Subtitle: Czech Stefan Fule to lead EU enlargement policy

    Stefan Fule has become EU commissioner for enlargement and European neighbourhood policy, according to the list announced November 27 by Jose Manuel Barroso, president of the European Commission. The position of enlargement commissioner has been described by analysts as the most critical for Turkey, especially after Herman Van Rompuy, known for his anti-Turkey remarks, was elected as the full-time president of the European Union. 'We have a European program, and now we have a European team', Barroso said. 'I have put together a strong commission to fill the enhanced role of Europe, including on the world stage, provided by the Lisbon Treaty. One of the key tasks of this college will be to give life to the new opportunities provided by the Lisbon Treaty'.

    Along with other commissioners-designate, Fule will present himself in hearings before the European Parliament in January. The commission will be appointed by the European Council on the basis of a vote of consent and will remain in office until October 31, 2014.

    Fule served as the Czech Republics minister for European affairs and previously represented his country in NATO over four years.

    Outgoing enlargement commissioner Olli Rehn will be looking after economic and monetary affairs during the new term.

    Barroso also announced seven vice presidents, including Baroness Catherine Ashton, who will also serve as the high representative of the union for foreign affairs and security policy. The new college will have 27 members, including Barroso, one from each member state. Fourteen members, including the president, were already members of the outgoing college.

    [05] The Supreme Military Council to discuss plot against AKP

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (01.12.09) reports the following:

    The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) will convene for its Supreme Military Council (YAS) meeting on December 4 and is expected to discuss a military plot aimed at undermining the power of the governing party and another plot which detailed a plan to assassinate prominent non-Muslim figures in Turkey, and in this way discredit the Justice and Development Party (AK Party).

    YAS convenes twice a year to decide on the annual round of promotions and appointments in the TSK. The meeting is also an occasion on which officers suspected of leading a religious life are generally expelled from the military.

    The council will convene under the presidency of Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The meeting will also be attended by Chief of General Staff Gen. Ilker Basbug, Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul and high-ranking military members.

    A military plot against the ruling AK Party and the faith-based Gulen movement is expected to be the main focus of the meeting. The plot was drafted by Col. Dursun Cicek, whose signature appears on its original. Col. Cicek was neither discharged nor promoted at a YAS meeting in August. His lack of promotion was read as a reaction to the controversy he stirred up, which resulted in negative publicity. The colonel has been waiting to be promoted to admiral for the last three years.

    The council is also expected to discuss the Cage plan, which details a plot to kill prominent non-Muslim figures in the country and place the blame for the killings on the AK Party. The killings were intended to increase internal and external pressure on the party, leading to diminishing public support for the AK Party.

    The Cage plot was found on a CD seized in the office of retired Maj. Levent Bektas during a police raid in April. The raid came after the discovery of munitions on land owned by the Istek Foundation in Poyrazkoy the same month. Bektas is currently under arrest.

    [06] Turkeys EU Chief Negotiator to clarify the issues to be discussed during the EU Summit during contacts in Brussels and Strasbourg

    Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (01.12.09) writes that Turkey's State Minister and Chief Negotiator for European Union membership talks, Egemen Bagis, will hold important contacts in Brussels and Strasbourg before the EU Summit in December 10-11.

    Mr Bagis who is currently is Sweden, will come together during a working breakfast with the EU term president Swedens Minister for European Union Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom.

    Tonight, Mr Bagis will fly to Brussels and tomorrow he will hold contacts on Turkeys EU accession. He will also hold separate meetings with the EU Commissioners Andris Piebalgs and Olli Rehn.

    According to the paper, Mr Bagis contacts in Brussels and Strasbourg are to clarify the issues regarding the EU Summit where the non-application by Turkey of the Additional Protocol and the non-opening of the Turkish ports to the Greek Cypriot vessels will be considered.

    At the same time, a discussion is expected to be held on the opening of a new EU chapter during the meeting of the Turkey-EU Intergovernmental Accession Conference which is to take place this month.

    [07] Egemen Bagis and Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu on the referendum in Switzerland

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.11.09) reported the following from Istanbul: Turkey's Chief Negotiator for European Union (EU) membership talks Egemen Bagis left for the Swedish capital on Monday. Bagis is scheduled to participate in the Turkey-EU Joint Consultative Committee meeting in Stockholm. The Turkish negotiator is also set to hold several meetings on Turkey's accession negotiations.

    Responding to a question over the Swiss approval in a referendum of a minaret ban next to mosques, Bagis said the result of the referendum contradicted tolerance. 'I hope that Switzerland will make up for this serious mistake in the shortest possible time. The country should not stay as an open air museum of intolerance in the middle of Europe', Bagis said.

    In the meantime, Ankara Anatolia news agency (30.11.09) reported the following from Jeddah:

    OIC Secretary General Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu described as an unfortunate development the 57.5 percent support given in Swiss referendum to the ban on the construction of new minarets. Ihsanoglu said in his statement that this development would harm Switzerlands image, pointing out that the ban of minaret is against human rights and religious freedom.

    Calling on the UN Human Rights Committee to express an opinion on the issue, Ihsanoglu said it is extremely sad that this development coincided with a period when the Islamic world was struggling against radical groups. At the same time, Ihsanoglu thanked those Swiss politicians and religious leaders who did not remain indifferent on the issue.

    In his telephone conversation with Swiss Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy, Ihsanoglu said he respects Swiss people's democratic rights and freedoms, reminding her that this latest development would harm Switzerlands image. Also calling on the Islamic world to follow the developments and express opinions in a peaceful and democratic manner, Ihsanoglu said he will continue to monitor the issue closely.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] President Guls trade diplomacy in the next fortnight

    Under the title: President Guls landmark visit to Jordan, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (01.12.09) publishes the following by Hasan Kanbolat:

    President Abdullah Gul will visit five countries immediately after Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice. After visiting Jordan today through Thursday this week at the invitation of King Abdullah, Gul will fly to Italy on Dec. 7 to attend a production of Carmen at Teatro La Scala in Milan. He will also visit Albania and Montenegro between Dec. 10 and 13 and Kuwait between December 21 and 22.

    A large delegation of Turkish businessmen is accompanying Gul on his visit to Jordan. During this visit, the two countries are expected to cooperate on abolishing visa requirements and boosting bilateral trade. The Foreign Economic Relations Board (DEIK) is holding a Turkish-Jordanian Business Forum today with the cooperation of the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodities Exchanges (TOBB) and the Jordanian Businessmens Association. During this forum, the Jordan Investment Board will make a presentation on the investment environment and business opportunities in Jordan. Aqaba Special Economic Zone Commission Vice President Dr. Bilal al-Bashir, Jordanian Businessmens Association and Jordanian-Turkish Business Council Chairman Hamdi Tabbaa, DEIK Turkish-Jordanian Business Council Chairman Serif Egeli, Jordan Investment Board CEO Dr. Maen Nsour, TOBB and DEIK President Rifat Hisarciklioglu, Jordanian Prime Minister Nader Al-Dahabi and President Gul will deliver speeches. On December 2, Gul will visit the Al Hassan Qualified Industrial Zone, attend a groundbreaking ceremony for the Disi project, with GAMA Enerji, and appear at a reception with Turkish businessmen and the Turkish community in Jordan. On December 3, he will travel to Aqaba to visit the Aqaba Special Economic Zone.

    Jordan became a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) in December 2000 and has recently become a magnet for foreign investors thanks to its economic reforms to integrate the countrys economy with the external world. Following the US military intervention in Iraq, Jordans position has increased in importance for Iraq and nearby countries. Due to the increased number of Iraqis settling in Jordan, demand in the real estate and construction sectors has skyrocketed. A majority of investments in Iraq and relations with Iraq are channelled via Jordan. Many US companies operating in Iraq have chosen Jordan as their bases, and this has positively contributed to the economy of Jordan.

    The port of Aqaba has become a hub for products coming from the US and the EU to Iraq. In 2001, Aqaba was designated a special investment zone. Aqaba offers customs tax exemption, lower taxation and other privileges to investors. In December 2001, Jordan signed a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the US. Under this agreement, customs duty on many products, particularly textiles and foodstuffs, will be gradually abolished or reduced by 2011. Of the products Jordan exports to the US, 96 percent are duty free. In addition to this agreement, Jordan has also inked a partnership agreement with the EU and an FTA with Singapore. Jordan is also a member of the Greater Arab Free Trade Area (GAFTA), which came into force on January 1, 2005. However, since the country has limited resources and is an oil importer and the US, its major exports market, has not overcome the economic crisis, the countrys economy can be considered fragile.

    Turkish negotiations on an FTA with Jordan have been launched to ensure compliance with the Common Trade Policies of the EU within the scope of the customs union between Turkey and the EU. An agreement is expected to be signed during Guls visit. Recently, Jordan has implemented many infrastructure projects funded by international financial institutions. In parallel to this development, Turkish construction companies have started to show greater interest in Jordan. Turkish companies undertook 30 projects amounting to $2.2 billion in Jordan between 1983 and 2008. In 2008, Turkeys exports to Jordan rose from $389.2 million to $460.8 million, an 18 percent increase. The volume of trade between the two countries was $486 million in 2008. Rapid progress in improving relations between Turkey and Jordan can be expected in the aftermath of the rapprochement between Turkey and Syria. Thus, the volume of trade between the two countries can be expected to eventually reach $1 billion, followed by a political and cultural convergence similar to those with Iraq and Syria.

    [09] From the Turkish Press of 30 November 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 30 November 2009:

    Foreign Policy issues

    Omer Taspinar views the urgent and important topics to be discussed by Prime Minister Erdogan and President Obama during the former's visit to the White House in about a week. In an article in Sabah, the columnist lists these topics as Iran, Armenia, Turkey's deteriorating relations with Israel, and the Afghanistan issue. He argues that "the most convincing answer to the question of whether there has been a change in Turkey's foreign policy axis will be a positive Turkish response to the US demands on Afghanistan."

    In an article in Milliyet, Asli Altintasbas reports on a recent interview she held with former US Ambassador Eric Edelman. Accordingly, The AKP government had warned Washington in 2004 and 2005 --when Edelman was serving in Ankara as US ambassador-- that there were plans for a coup in Turkey, but no steps were taken because there was no concrete evidence. In the interview, Edelman says: "Nobody from the military talked to me about this issue. Had they done that, I would have told them that the United States is opposed to the ousting of democratically elected governments by means of unconstitutional ways."

    "How long can Turkey put up with Cyprus's moves to block the road to Europe?" Ferati Tinc asks in an article in Hurriyet. It is no longer realistic for Ankara to go on as if nothing is happening, she asserts, adding: Greek Cypriot spokesman "Stefanos openly admitted that Turkey's EU accession is being used to further Cyprus's interests. That is no secret, but it is a pity, because this stands both distances Turkey from Europe and prevents the solution of the Cyprus problem."

    A report entitled "White House will have a busy agenda" in Yeni Safak says that various issues, including terrorism, Cyprus question, relations with Armenia, and the Middle East will be discussed at the upcoming meeting between US President Barack Obama and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Washington on 7 December. According to the report, the two leaders are expected to take crucial steps toward disarming the PKK.

    In an article entitled "Ramzan Kadyrov and freedom fighters," Yeni Safak columnist Hakan Albayrak says that Turkey should further bilateral relations with Chechnya and reinforce religious, cultural, and commercial ties in spite of atrocities committed by the Kadyrov Administration. Pointing out that the odds are against Chechen militants fighting for independence because they have lost their leaders and enjoy less popular support, Albayrak emphasizes that they should lay down their arms. He adds that Chechen rebels may be convinced to stop their armed campaign if Russian and Chechen presidents put forward a credible proposal.

    ES/


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