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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 09-12-17

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. 239/09 17.12.09

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] England got angry of the Greek Cypriot veto and will issue a declaration2. Downer met with the self-styled Prime Minister Eroglu
  • [03] Turkish Cypriot political parties walk out of the round table meeting of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties as protest to the Slovak Ambassador
  • [04] A protocol was signed to set up a Turkish World Press Union
  • [05] The Turkish Cypriot foreign press union concluded its contacts in Italy. Turkish Cypriot journalists were sent to Brussels for training
  • [06] President Gul to attend the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference
  • [07] Hosni Mubaraks contacts in Turkey; Egypt and Turkey held Middle East talks
  • [08] An Ankara based think tank urged Turkey to make openings to Abkhazia
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] From the Turkish Press of 16 December 2009

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] England got angry of the Greek Cypriot veto and will issue a declarationUnder the above title Turkish daily Hurriyet newspaper (17.12.09) reports that the irreconcilable behavior of the Greek Cypriots caused the reaction of the British. The unilateral declaration of the Greek Cypriots to veto six more negotiation chapters for Turkey made the British angry. According to the paper, Britain will make a declaration on the issue at the meeting of the Committee of Permanent Representatives of EU countries (COREPER) which will be held today in Brussels.

    The paper adds the following:

    In its part South Cyprus has applied to the term president of the EU Sweden and asked that Britain is persuaded to back down from issuing a declaration. And as regards the current EU presidency Sweden, it started to exert efforts in order to ease the tension created during the last days between the two countries because of the ports crisis and Turkeys EU negotiations which are continuing.

    Subtitle: What will the statement include?

    The British Secretary for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, David Miliband, abandoned the Foreign Ministers meeting last week because of the Greek Cypriots declaration. The points, on which the British are uneasy and will be included in the declaration, are the following:

    The unilateral announcement by the Greek Cypriots that will block six more chapters with Turkey.

    The fact that upon a demand by the Greek Cypriots the expression which was planned to be included in the final document of the EU Summit with the wish of Sweden and the support of Britain, that the bilateral problems will not affect EUs enlargement process, was removed from the text.

    The fact that in the final document Turkeys contribution for the peace negotiations in Cyprus was demanded, but the same call was not made for the Greek Cypriots and for Greece.

    (CS)

    [02] Downer met with the self-styled Prime Minister Eroglu

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.12.09) broadcast the following:

    The UN Special Adviser on Cyprus Alexander Downer has met with Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu. The course of the Cyprus negotiation process was discussed during the meeting at the Prime Ministers office.

    Speaking before the meeting, Prime Minister Eroglu expressed his contentment for hosting the UN Envoy once again at his office.

    'His visit is very meaningful. We will exchange views on course of the negotiation process. I will be very pleased to hear Downers views', the Premier said.The UN Official also voiced his satisfaction over having an opportunity to visit Prime Minister Eroglu before returning to Australia for summer holiday.

    Mr Downer said he spent most of his time helping the two leaders to solve the Cyprus problem, adding that exchanging views with leaders of Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties is an important part of his duty.

    Pointing out that a difficult process is being conducted, he said 'Cyprus remains divided for a long time. We have been doing our best to help reunite the island on the basis of a bizonal, bicommunal order and political equality, which will have a single international identity.

    He noted that he is still cautiously optimistic for a solution in Cyprus.

    [03] Turkish Cypriot political parties walk out of the round table meeting of the Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties as protest to the Slovak Ambassador

    Illegal Bayrak television (16.12.09) broadcast the following:

    Todays routine round-table meeting of Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties, which are being organized by the Slovakian Embassy, witnessed a protest by Turkish parties against Slovak Ambassador Anna Turenicova.

    Representatives from the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces, the Democrat Party and the Socialist Democracy Party left the meeting just minutes after it started to protest the Ambassador for not attending a lunch hosted by President Mehmet Ali Talat for ambassadors of EU countries last month.

    Leaders and representatives of Turkish and Greek Cypriot political parties came together at another round-table meeting organized by the Slovakian Embassy in South Cyprus.

    Soon after the start of the meeting, the Democrat Partys Foreign Affairs Secretary Bengu Sonya delivered a speech protesting the Slovakian Ambassador for not attending the lunch given by President Talat for Ambassadors of EU member countries last month.

    Representatives of the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces, the Democrat Party and the Socialist Democracy Party left the meeting in protest of the Ambassador.

    On the 25th of November, President Talat hosted a lunch for ambassadors of EU member countries and briefed them on the Turkish Sides views regarding the course of the negotiations process.

    Some of the ambassadors, who earlier confirmed their attendance to the lunch, later chose not to attend the event by giving the Greek Cypriot Sides preventive initiatives as an excuse.

    [04] A protocol was signed to set up a Turkish World Press Union

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.12.09) reports that a protocol was signed yesterday at Merit hotel in the occupied part of Lefkosia among the Turkish Cypriot foreign press union, an Azerbaycani newspaper and the representatives of press institutions in order to set up a Turkish World Press Union.

    The Chairman of the Turkish Cypriot foreign press union, Mr Fevzi Tanpinar, in a statement at the protocol signing ceremony, said that they took the first step for important cooperation. Mr Elcin Mirzbey, editor-in-chief of the Azerbaycan Halk Cephesi newspaper, said that the protocol is a historic event and added that the most important newspapers in Azerbaijan are ready to sign also this protocol.

    On the same issue, Havadis paper also reports that Azeri journalists visited yesterday morning the so-called prime minister Dervis Eroglu. Mr Eroglu replied to Azeri journalists questions regarding the Cyprus problem.

    (DPs)

    [05] The Turkish Cypriot foreign press union concluded its contacts in Italy. Turkish Cypriot journalists were sent to Brussels for training

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.12.09) reports that a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot foreign press union carried out contacts in Rome with journalists and EU deputies last week. The aim of their contacts was to be familiar with the European media system and especially the Italian media. The delegation had also the opportunity to visit media groups and observe from close the new technologies.

    Meanwhile, the Turkish Cypriot foreign press union announced that the EU sent a group to Brussels for training within the framework of a project titled Promotion of youth exchanges and other people-to-people contacts. The trainees will be accredited with the Anadolu Agency in Brussels and they will start their work in the EU Commission and the EU Parliament. The training programme aims at creating specialists on EU issues in the Turkish Cypriot media.

    (DPs)

    [06] President Gul to attend the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (16.12.09) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul will travel to Danish capital of Copenhagen on Thursday to attend the 15th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP15).A statement by presidential press center said on Wednesday that Gul would visit Copenhagen on December 17 and 18 to participate in the heads of state and government climate summit. 119 heads of state and government are expected to attend the climate summit.

    The statement said Turkey attaches a great importance to fight against climate change.A Turkish delegation including deputies, officials from the ministry and representatives of nongovernmental organizations has been representing Turkey in the climate change conference which started on December 7.

    [07] Hosni Mubaraks contacts in Turkey; Egypt and Turkey held Middle East talks

    Todays Zaman newspaper (17.12.09) reports the following:

    Ankara has been the venue for comprehensive consultations between Egyptian and Turkish leaders concerning the impasse in the Middle East peace process and the rift between Palestinian factions.

    President Hosni Mubarak arrived in Ankara on Tuesday for a working visit during which he and his counterpart, Abdullah Gul, focused on the Palestinian cause, which they said is a 'top priority' for both Egypt and Turkey.

    The two leaders discussed the 'threats posed to the peace process ... by the Israeli governments practices in the West Bank and the ongoing blockade of the Gaza Strip', Mubarak told reporters through an interpreter at a joint press conference following his talks with Gul on Tuesday. Mubarak said they had also discussed efforts to broker a deal to reconcile rival Palestinian groups.

    Gül said Ankara was 'closely following Egypts great efforts on issues related to [securing] Palestinian unity', while pledging Turkish support 'so that this issue is resolved as soon as possible'.

    Egypt has been trying to push the Palestinian factions toward a power-sharing agreement. The division has also complicated efforts to restart peace talks with Israel. Mubarak has said Turkey and Egypt agree that the Israeli 'position and actions ' in the West Bank and its blockade of Gaza 'posed a danger' to peace.

    On Wednesday, Mubarak held talks with both Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The ministers had returned from Damascus on Monday, where a forum of six Arab states plus Turkey urged Israel to halt all settlement activity so Middle East peace negotiations could resume. They also called on Israel to abide by previously signed agreements with the Palestinian side, to put an end to its illegal practices in East Jerusalem and to lift the siege on Gaza.

    While talks on bilateral economic and commercial relations between Egypt and Turkey dominated the meeting between Mubarak and Babacan, Davutoglu separately had talks with his Egyptian counterpart, Ahmed Aboul Gheit, and the chief of Egypts intelligence, Omar Suleiman, at a breakfast meeting on Wednesday.

    Comprehensive consultations between Egypt and Turkey regarding the reconciliation efforts between Palestinian groups, developments in the Middle East, Israel and Syria, as well as issues about Iraq and Iran will continue, Davutoglu told reporters following his meetings with Egyptian officials.

    Davutoglu noted he will probably pay a visit to Egypt before March 2010. 'We consider the past months as lost months. Unfortunately, both the world and our region have missed very important opportunities in 2009. Very progressive steps could have been taken in the Middle East', he responded when asked about the possibility of the resumption of peace talks in the Middle East with the new administration in Israel.

    Turkey has still been exerting significant efforts to revive the process, he said, adding: 'But its hard to say there has been progress to the extent we wished for. In this regard, steps to be taken, particularly in the first months of 2010, are very important'.

    Not only Israel and Arab countries, but all international parties, such as the US and Syria, should get involved in the process, he said. Turkey last year mediated several months of indirect talks between Israel and Syria.

    'The months ahead of us are critical. If positive developments take place, then they will trigger other positive developments. But if a negative course emerges, then it may pave the way for negative scenarios. Thats why there is need to closely follow all developments and to take the right steps at the right time'.

    US President Barack Obama wanted to restart the peace process in his first year in office, but this looks unlikely.

    Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has announced a partial freeze in settlement building which Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has rejected as insufficient -- and an Israeli cabinet minister said last week that construction in the West Bank would continue.

    Leading Israeli daily Haaretz, meanwhile, reported on Wednesday that the United States and Egypt, along with France, are planning a joint move to restart Israeli-Palestinian talks on the basis of the June 4, 1967 borders, territorial exchanges and a complete freeze on construction beyond the Green Line, including East Jerusalem. The freeze would not be announced publicly, Haaretz suggested.

    The daily quoted an anonymous Egyptian source as saying that Egypts intelligence chief, Suleiman, is scheduled to visit Israel and then Washington in the coming days.

    [08] An Ankara based think tank urged Turkey to make openings to Abkhazia

    Hurriyet Daily News.com (16.12.09) reported the following:

    A report launched late Wednesday by an Ankara-based think tank highlighted the need for engagement policies toward Abkhazia.

    'The aim of this report is to question isolation policy and promote engagement by looking to the region as an economic entity', said Burcu Gültekin Punsmann, the lead author of the report 'Abkhazia for the Integration of the Black Sea', which was drafted by the Economic Policy Research Foundation of Turkey, or TEPAV.

    Economic sanctions are policy tools used by governments to constrain business activity across borders with intended policy outcomes, according to the report, which underlined that cooperation was the key factor in ensuring success.

    'Maximum amount of harm was inflicted on the population of Abkhazia during the period of the Russian Federations full cooperation with the embargo decision. Attempts of Turkish businessmen from the Black Sea coast to infringe the sanctions, either guided by profit or moral concerns, could bring a relative degree of relief', it read.

    In 1996, Abkhazia was virtually cut off from the outside world. The dire situation of the war-ruined economy was further exacerbated by the Russian-Georgian maritime and land blockade, which caused economic and social disruption.

    Turkey responded positively to the call to impose economic sanctions on Abkhazia and canceled direct cruises between the ports of Trabzon and Sukhum in 1996. Today, the maritime link between Turkey and Abkhazia is officially closed. Turkey is justifying its compliance with the isolation regime as respect for the territorial integrity of Georgia.

    'Turkey can become an important actor to end the isolation of Abkhazia', said Punsmann, stressing the fact that Turkey was as important for Abkhazia as Russia in terms of foreign economic relations.

    'It is time for both the Turkish and Georgian governments to find practical ways to open up to Abkhazia and promote more active, more pro-engagement policy toward Abkhazia', she said.

    Abkhazia, a political entity on the eastern coast of the Black Sea whose status is disputed, declared independence in the wake of the 2008 Russia-Georgia war, but is recognized only by Russia, Nicaragua, Venezuela and Nauru and by South Ossetia and Transnistria, whose statuses are also disputed. Georgia considers Abkhazia to be part of its own territory.

    'We have no other choice but re-integration', said Guven Sak, managing director of TEPAV. He underlined TEPAV was not taking a position toward political problems, but instead offering economic opportunities that could prepare the ground for a settlement to political disputes at the end of the day.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] From the Turkish Press of 16 December 2009

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 16 December 2009:

    Kurdish problem

    According to a report by Mansur Celik in Milliyet, the Turkish Grand National Assembly, (TBMM), is expected to reject the resignation of the Democratic Society Party, DTP, deputies, because otherwise by-elections might be needed. The report adds that, however, the Justice and Development Party, AKP, the Republican People's Party, CHP, and the Nationalist Action Party, MHP, have not yet determined their stand on the issue.

    According to a report by Hale Ates in Sabah, the government is planning a series of steps ranging from cultural rights to the village guard system in order to prove that the overture process will continue. Within this framework, the state will extend support to projects involving Kurdish publications and will grant permission to those who wish to return to the vacated villages, adds the report.

    Welcoming the appeals being made to the DTP to remain within the parliament in a commentary in Sabah, Erdal Safak underlines that "the Kurdish issue can only be solved in Ankara and in parliament," adding: "If Ankara is replaced by Diyarbakir and the parliament with the street, the problem will be further exacerbated and Turkey will be dragged into endless adventures." Urging the National Assembly to reject the DTP resignations, Safak calls on all parties in parliament to amend the Constitution and the Political Parties Law. The writer further suggests: "The closure of parties should be rendered more difficult in the light of the Venice criteria; the principle of punishing individuals instead of parties should be the legal principle. Furthermore, the election threshold should be reduced to the European average." The status quo means that the Kurdish problem will remain the hostage of Imrali and Kandil, warns Safak, maintaining that the Kurdish issue has no importance for Ocalan other than as a security for his own future. As for Murat Karayilan, Safak argues that his recent call to the Kurdish youth to take up arms only proves that he views the solution of the problem as a threat to his continued career on the mountains. The writer concludes that the plots of Imrali and Qandil can be foiled through the return of the Kurdish politicians to parliament, through concrete steps on the part of the government on the path to a solution, and through the establishment of a dialogue committee with the participation of all the parties in the Assembly.

    Viewing the incidents in Mus' Bulanik District in which two were killed and seven injured, Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi in his article laments that Turkey has become a country in which people with opposing views shoot one another and adds: "However, the prime minister is unaware of this reality, nor are the 338 deputies of the ruling party concerned about it." Citing all the violent street incidents that took place since the beginning of the month culminating in the Bulanik killings, Eksi continues: "The prime minister, instead of seeing these developments, instead of taking measures to prevent Turkey from being dragged into a 'fraternal strife,' is making assessments as though he is living in a different world. He is not trying to prevent the incidents; he is trying to prevent their broadcast."

    Arguing that the government has failed to prepare a program/road map regarding its "Kurdish overture" fearing opposition from within the party, Hurriyet columnist Cuneyt Ulsever underlines: "Let me state this clearly; if the goal is to achieve peace, to disarm the PKK, then there is a single respondent: the PKK!" Conceding that Ocalan could not have been considered a direct interlocutor, Ulsever, in his article, writes that security, military, or intelligence officials could have established contact with the PKK in any part of the world. The government could have shared the political risk of such an initiative with the security, military, or intelligence organs and could have authorized them to conduct talks, Ulsever writes, adding that the government could have started the negotiations prior to announcing its overture in a bid to prevent harsh opposition. In conclusion, Ulsever claims that it is not yet too late since the PKK is aware that it has lost its international function, that the United States and Iraq are against its existence in north Iraq, and that its isolation process is rapidly advancing.

    Assessing the stage reached in the Kurdish overture in an article in Referans, Cengiz Candar argues that the determining role of Abdullah Ocalan cannot be ignored. Based on sections from a Firat News Agency, FNA, report on Ocalan's conversations with his lawyers prior to the DTP closure decision, Candar concludes that Ocalan has dismissed both Ahmet Turk and Murat Karayilan as interlocutors in the solution process, declaring that he is the sole interlocutor. Referring to Ocalan's statement minimizing the importance of the possible closure of the DTP, Candar writes that Ocalan has pointed to the Democratic Society Congress, DTK, as the "new address." Focusing on Karayilan's recent interview also posted on the FNA website, Candar draws attention to the change in tone which now calls on the Kurdish youth to take up arms. Given the situation, Candar calls on both Turks and Kurds to fill in the democratic legal void created by the closure of the DTP and by the subsequent resignation of its deputies and not to leave the field open to arms and violence.

    It was not difficult to predict that the closure of the DTP would escalate the violence in the streets, writes Okay Gonensin in an article in Vatan, pointing out that the stones thrown in Izmir turned into bullets in Mus. Since the political party whose support could be recruited to stop the violence has been closed down, now those who were happy to see the DTP closed should do something to stop the violence, argues Gonensin, predicting that as the clashes escalate proposals for declaring either a state of emergency or martial law will be made. Despite the escalating violence the prime minister and the leader of the opposition party can still not get together, laments the writer, questioning how many people have to die before the leaders meet in a bid to reduce the tension in the country.

    Accusing the AKP of having done nothing to prevent the closure of the DTP in an article in Vatan, Rusen Cakir writes that although he does not approve of the DTP decision to withdraw from parliament he can understand it, adding: "Those who should actually be criticized at this moment, are those who could not, from the very beginning, tolerate the presence of the DTP in parliament, who refused to shake hands with the DTP deputies, who did not salute them, who refrained from even uttering their names." Questioning why Constitutional Court President Hasim Kilic, who stood against ten other members of the court in the recent AKP decision, did not show the same symbolic support with regards to the DTP, Cakir criticizes the Constitutional Court for punishing the moderate members of the DTP such as Turk and Tugluk. Dismissing the possibility that the parliament will accept the DTP resignations and will opt for by-elections, Cakir maintains that by-elections might be construed as a kind of "referendum" in the southeast. The writer concludes: "Despite all the efforts the ruling party might exert to prevent by-elections, early elections might be inevitable if there is no positive development in the Kurdish overture. To think that the overture, which could not advance with the DTP, can advance in its absence is nothing but exaggerated optimism."

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Mehmet Ali Birand predicts that "a new party that will obey Ocalan and that will not hinder any directives coming from the PKK" will be established. Viewing the options open to Ocalan, Birand says that he will either "take the battle back to the populace," create a party for Turkey, and come to a consensus, or he will "take the battle back to the PKK," an option full of clashes, bloodshed, and the possibility of a civil war.

    Assessing the escalating violence in the country in an article in Taraf, Yasemin Congar predicts that the foundation is being prepared for the return of a state of emergency to the southeast. Accusing the government of continuing to observe the developments and doing nothing but warning the media "not to exaggerate the local incidents," Congar calls on the AKP to well assess the situation, to disregard CHP leader Baykal's proposal to take a-U-turn in the democratic overture process, to speed up the concrete measures that will increase the Kurdish people's confidence in the overture, and to initiate a dialogue against violence and toward a solution with all the actors of Kurdish politics including the DTP members. Finally, the writer urges the prime minister to visit Diyarbakir and hold a meeting with Mayor Baydemir.

    Predicting that the DTP closure decision will lead to a DTP-PKK centered local parliament in the southeast in an article in Taraf, Kurtulus Tayiz argues that politicians who consented to the closure with the hope that the Kurdish politicians would return to parliament with a more moderate line were being naïve and have actually opened the path to a two-centered administration. Pointing out that the DTK established in Diyarbakir can be viewed as a mini-parliament, Tayiz argues that with the participation of the DTP deputies the DTK will function as de facto parliament. Those who have taken the Batasuna party in Spain as an example can now see how the DTP will take the Basque parliament in Spain as a model.

    In an article entitled "The Government, the opposition, and all the rest", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru comments on what he describes as the quandary facing the Government in the wake of the DTP group's decision to resign from Parliament en masse. He asserts that the Government is "stuck between the rock and a hard place" over the question of whether to accept or reject the resignations. He also warns the Opposition of the consequences of allowing the DTP's moves to cause widespread internal chaos and urges it "not to leave the Government alone in the face of the DTP's resignation ploy" and to support the AKP's parliamentary group in voting to reject the resignations.

    In an article entitled "Batasuna, DTP, and PKK", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak criticizes the DTP for "giving the impression of being a political party controlled by the imprisoned leader of a [terrorist] organization" and advises it to engage in some soul-searching based on the European Courts of Human Rights ruling upholding Spanish courts' decision to outlaw Batasuna. He also asserts that the DTP's decision to resign from Parliament collectively will pave the way for developments likely to serve the Ergenekon network's interests only.

    In an article entitled "Watching the streets from balconies", Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal asserts that the street protests being carried out by PKK and DTP supporters in various parts of the country are aimed at provoking Nationalist Action Party, MHP, sympathizers into staging counter demonstrations in a bid to lay the groundwork for a Turkish-Kurdish conflict. He also quotes Yasar Yildirim, former chairman of the MHP-affiliated Idealist Hearths and author of a book called Watching Things From the Balcony, as saying that MHP supporters have drawn lessons from the consequences of their involvement in the conflicts that led to the 12 September coup and that they remain determined to watch domestic disturbances from the sidelines and leave the job of restoring order to police and military forces.

    Under the headline, "Democratization is top priority for government in 2010," Today's Zaman runs a report which asserts that the Government "has set its main priority for next year as carrying through with its democratization package, which includes addressing the problems of the country's Kurds, Alevis, and Roma ..."

    In an article entitled "PKK's Strategic Calculation in Killing 7 Soldiers", Today's Zaman columnist Emre Uslu links the PKK attack in Resadiye to a strategy to obstruct the increase in the AKP's popularity in the southeast made possible by the latest Kurdish initiative.

    b) Foreign policy issues

    According to a report by Asli Aydintasbas in Milliyet, military and diplomatic sources in Ankara have expressed their concern about the anti-missile shield system proposed by the United States fearing that it will once again transform Turkey into a Cold War front. The report adds that Ankara has requested more information from Washington about this program that President Obama raised during his meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan. However, the report notes, government and military circles the daily has contacted on the issue are not keen on the project.

    In an article entitled "What is so much preparation for?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul discusses the "crisis" signaled by the Gulf Cooperation Council's decision to form a coalition consisting of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates against the warring Shiite groups in Yemen. He describes the decision as part of an attempt to establish a united Arab army to counterbalance Iran. He also argues that the increasing domestic tensions in Turkey might have been provoked by forces that do not want this country to focus its attention on the recent developments involving Yemen.

    ES/


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