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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-01-08

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. 04/10 08.01.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] German Minister points out that the key for the creation of new momentum in Turkeys EU accession course is hidden in Cyprus
  • [02] Talat held contacts in Ankara, addressed the 2nd meeting of the Turkish ambassadors and held a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary-General
  • [03] Ozgurgun stated that he expects no result from the negotiations which the Turkish side continues for the sake of Turkeys EU course. New TRNC offices in Sweden, Strasbourg and Bahrain
  • [04] Irsen Kucuk said the UBP is satisfied with the decisions of the Turkish NSC providing for two separate states, two democracies and two peoples in Cyprus
  • [05] Ercakica said the term package is not appropriate for the proposals of the Turkish side because the approach of take it or leave it would not be right
  • [06] Seventeen more persons were given the citizenship of the regime on 30 December 2009
  • [07] The DP decided not to support any party candidate during the forthcoming elections in April
  • [08] Turkey reaches a new agreement with Israel on purchase of Herons
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [09] From the Turkish Press of 07/01/10

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] German Minister points out that the key for the creation of new momentum in Turkeys EU accession course is hidden in Cyprus

    Under the title It will make the Greek Cypriots angry, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.01.10) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu and his German counterpart, Guido Westerwelle have agreed that the Cyprus problem should not constitute an obstacle in the relations between Turkey and the EU and that a mechanism for dialogue between their two ministries should be established as soon as possible.

    In statements after their meeting yesterday in Ankara, Mr Davutoglu thanked Mr Westerwelle for Germanys support to Turkeys accession to the EU and expressed Ankaras wish for this support to be increased. Mr Davutoglu noted that he gave overall information to his counterpart on the Cyprus problem and added: We agreed on the issue of the Cyprus matter not to constitute an obstacle in the relations between Turkey and the EU.

    Noting that they exchanged views on what should be done in order for a just and lasting solution to be reached in Cyprus around the UN parameters, Mr Davutoglu said they asked from Germany to undertake more active role, because very appropriate conditions exist for comprehensive peace.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (08.01.10) reports that the German Minister of Foreign Affairs, Guido Westerwelle addressed the 2nd meeting of the Turkish ambassadors to various countries yesterday in Ankara. The German minister said that new momentum is needed in Turkeys accession negotiations with the EU and added that the key for this is hidden in the Cyprus problem, the approval and implementation of the Ankara Protocol by Turkey, the negotiations in Cyprus under the auspices of the United Nations and the EU Direct Trade Regulation. He stressed the importance of the further deepening of the relations between Germany and Turkey and pointed out that the two peoples came politically, economically and culturally closer than ever during the past few years. He said Germany has great interest in strengthening its relations with Turkey and in Turkey joining the EU. Noting that the accession negotiations started in 2005 with the target of full membership, Guido Westerwelle said: This is an open- ended process and it is not automatic. The result is not known in the beginning of the negotiations.

    Pointing out that Turkey exerts intensive efforts for the continuation of the negotiations, the German Minister underlined that the accession negotiations need a new dynamic, and added:

    As we all know, the key for this is hidden in the Cyprus issue, the approval and implementation of the Ankara Protocol by the Turkish government, the negotiations in Cyprus under the auspices of the United Nations and the EU Direct Trade Regulation.

    He said they appreciate the readiness of the Turkish government to take new steps for finding a solution to old conflicts and expressed the hope for new steps to be taken on this issue because he attaches importance to the successful continuation of Turkeys EU accession process. He noted that determination is not enough for this, but political courage is also needed. He said he conveyed the expectation for contributing to a solution with compromise to the TRNC government as well.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat held contacts in Ankara, addressed the 2nd meeting of the Turkish ambassadors and held a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary-General

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.01.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat held contacts in Turkey yesterday where he went from Brussels. Mr Talat was received at the airport by Egemen Bagis, Turkeys State Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU. After his contacts in Istanbul, the Turkish Cypriot leader went to Ankara and made a presentation regarding the Cyprus problem at a meeting of 200 Turkish ambassadors who are on duty in various countries. According to the paper, Talat stressed the important role of the Turkish ambassadors in the establishment of communication between the world and the isolated Turkish Cypriot people. Later Mr Talat met with Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan for about one hour and participated in a working dinner hosted by the Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu. The self-styled minister of foreign affairs, Huseyin Ozgurgun also attended the above-mentioned dinner.

    At 15.30 hours Mr Talat had a telephone conversation with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon, who wished success for the intensive negotiations to be carried out next week.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.10) reports the following: Turkish Cypriot president said he invited UN Secretary - General Ban Ki-moon to Cyprus and Ban accepted invitation.

    After paying visits to Belgian capital of Brussels and the Turkish capital of Ankara, Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Mehmet Ali Talat returned to his country. He had meetings with European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso in Brussels and Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in Ankara.

    Speaking to reporters on his talks, Talat said he had informed Barroso on the negotiation process in Cyprus and reminded him of EU's commitments. Talat quoted Barroso as saying that he would do his best on the issue.

    Talat said he also held fruitful talks in Ankara, noting that Erdogan and he had discussed Cyprus issue, isolations and economy in their meeting.

    Talat said when he was visiting Ankara, UN Secretary-General Ban called him. Ban expressed his views on intensified talks on Cyprus that would start on January 11 and mentioned UN's expectations regarding the process during phone conversation, Talat said.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ozgurgun stated that he expects no result from the negotiations which the Turkish side continues for the sake of Turkeys EU course. New TRNC offices in Sweden, Strasbourg and Bahrain

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (08.01.10) reports on statements made by the self-styled foreign minister, Huseyin Ozgurgun. Delivering a speech at the Aegean University of Izmir under the title The future of Cyprus, Mr. Ozgurgun stated, inter alia, that he does not expect a result from the negotiating table as regards the Cyprus problem and added the following: However, we are continuing the negotiations. Because, this affects Turkeys EU bid. We should not abandon the negotiations in a period when the Cyprus problem is a trouble which blocks the course of Turkey in its EU process.

    As regards the issue of representation offices of the occupation regime abroad, Mr. Ozgurgun said that the TRNC continues to exert efforts to promote it and added the following:

    The number of our representation offices in 1983 when the TRNC was established was too small. Now we have 18 representation offices, five in Europe and the rest in Gulf countries. We are opening a presentation office in Bahrain in the middle of January. We are exerting efforts in Strasbourg also. We are hopeful for this as well. I met with the ambassador of Sweden. We have a proposal from Sweden. They accepted the opening of our representation office there. The TRNC continues exerting efforts in this framework. Turkey contributes a lot to this. Turkey does this job anywhere it has ambassadors. In this sense it is easy for us to establish separate representation offices there.

    Last year, after the opening of our representation office in Rome, they sent letters to nine thousand tourist agencies. After the opening of our representation office in Italy, tourists from Italy started coming to the TRNC. The Greek Cypriots sent letters in order to prevent this by saying that this is a soil which is under occupation, it is illegal, it is a soil which belongs to Greek Cypriots and was seized by violence by Turks, do not come. We are struggling and exerting efforts in spite of the Greek Cypriots stance. We should continue our struggle.

    Mr. Ozgurgun referred also to the Cyprus problem and argued that the Cyprus problem is not a problem of the Greek Cypriots and the Turkish Cypriots but a problem of Turkey and Greece. He also said that they always work in consultation with Turkey as regards the Cyprus problem and added that the Cyprus problem cannot be solved without Turkey.

    Mr. Ozgurgun went on and said that the Cyprus problem has five important parameters, that is, the territory, the property, the guarantees, the power sharing and bi-zonality. He argued that the leaders of the TRNC and the Greek Cypriot side cannot discuss these. He also added that the issues which the leaders discussed are not essential and they did not enter into the discussion of any of the essential issues of the problem.

    (AK)

    [04] Irsen Kucuk said the UBP is satisfied with the decisions of the Turkish NSC providing for two separate states, two democracies and two peoples in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.01.10) reports that Mr Irsen Kucuk, General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), has described as distortion contrary to the realities the statement by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat that the self-styled government did not send a representative to his team in the negotiations for a solution to the Cyprus problem. In a written statement issued yesterday, Mr Kucuk noted that the UBP has decided to appoint a representative in case Mr Talat accepted this representative to have a say, to fully cooperate with him and take him in the face to face meetings with President Christofias.

    Furthermore, Mr Kucuk accused Mr Talat of acting with the mentality of I do it, so it can be done and of submitting proposals which the government does not approve. He said that according to the public opinion polls the people will also not accept these proposals. Mr Kucuk noted that the statement that these proposals have been prepared in consultation with the government is not true. He further accused Mr Talat and his team of turning the negotiations into material for the election campaign.

    Referring to statements by the chairman and some officials of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) who argued that the stance of the UBP is not in harmony with the decisions of the Turkish National Security Council (NSC), Mr Kucuk pointed out that since the beginning of the term of duty of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) and especially during the past one year, the NSC stressed in its decisions the two separate peoples, the two states, the two democracies, the active and effective guarantees of Turkey and the new partnership based on two founding states in Cyprus. He said that his party was satisfied with all these decisions. He also reminded statements by the spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry regarding the stance of the UBP for the negotiations, which was described as sincere and constructive. Finally, he pointed out to the recent visit of Mr Eroglu to Ankara when he met with state and army officials and returned to the occupied part of Cyprus satisfied with the results of his contacts.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Ercakica said the term package is not appropriate for the proposals of the Turkish side because the approach of take it or leave it would not be right

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.01.10) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has said that he opposes to the description of the proposals submitted recently by the Turkish Cypriot side in the Cyprus talks as package of proposals. In statements to illegal Bayrak television yesterday, Mr Ercakica noted that he would call these proposals as set of ideas. He noted that more than one view was submitted and the word package might cause wrong connotations. Mr Ercakica said that the term package is not appropriate because the approach of take it or leave it would not be right.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (08.01.10) refers to the same statements by Hasan Ercakica and reports that he also commented on a statement made by Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled minister of foreign affairs, during the news bulletin of Ada television the night before yesterday. Mr Ozgurgun had said that Mr Talat should respect the will of the people and put an end to the negotiations for reaching a solution to the Cyprus problem. Mr Ercakica noted that if the government wants the negotiations to be cut off it should use the power given to it by the constitution.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Seventeen more persons were given the citizenship of the regime on 30 December 2009

    Under the title Citizenship disgrace again, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (08.01.10) reports that during its meeting on 30 December 2009 the self-styled council of ministers decided to give the citizenship of the breakaway regime to 17 (seventeen) persons from Turkey. The paper notes that two of these persons are very interesting for the public opinion in the occupied areas of Cyprus. One of them is Tarik Cengiz, chairman of Turkeys Handball Federation. The paper reminds that Mr Cengiz had once stated that he is not recognizing the TRNC Handball Federation. The paper reports that some weeks ago Mr Cengiz attended the opening of a shop which bakes pitas in occupied Keryneia. The shop belonged to Galip Ozturk, another person who was granted the citizenship by the self-styled council of ministers. Mr Ozturk, who is reportedly living in the USA, visited Keryneia on 20 December and made the opening ceremony of a shop named Sampi with the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu. The paper writes that Galip Ozturk is accused of many crimes, such as extortion, corruption and fraud.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The DP decided not to support any party candidate during the forthcoming elections in April

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.01.10) reports that the central administrative committee of the Democratic Party (DP) convened last night and decided not to support any party candidate during the forthcoming elections in April because the post of the president of the republic is above parties. The committee gave full authority to the chairman of the party, Serdar Denktas to take up the possibility of cooperation with the National Unity Party (UBP). During the two-hour meeting, Mr Denktas was given the duty to establish contacts with other political parties and organizations for determining a candidate who could receive support from different parts of the society. The party will continue to evaluate the issue during a meeting next Monday.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Turkey reaches a new agreement with Israel on purchase of Herons

    Ankara TRT State television (07.01.10) broadcast the following:

    Turkey has reached a new agreement with Israel on the problematic purchase of surveillance drones, known as Herons. Turkey's Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul is leaving for Israel on January 11 in accordance with the agreement which stipulates delivery of surveillance drones to Turkey, after 50 days of delay.

    Turkey and Israel signed a deal in 2005 for the 10 Herons, worth $183 million.

    The-said drones were promised for delivery in May 2008, but did not arrive until October 2009. After the one-and-a-half-year delay, they were used in Turkey's operations against the terrorist organization PKK in November.

    Later, the drones were taken to the Unmanned Air Vehicles (UAVs) Center in Turkey's Batman city, where they were examined by engineers. The tests showed that the craft did not comply with the tender specifications required by Turkey, according to Turkish daily Today's Zaman. On November 30, they were returned to Israel, with Turkish Defense Minister Vecdi Gonul announcing that Turkey had given Israeli contractors 50 days to fulfill the long-delayed deal, the daily says.

    At the time, officials from Turkey's Undersecretariat for Defense Industries called the deadline given to Israel a "warning" before considering the imposition of a monetary penalty. Defence Minister Gonul in July had denied reports published in the Israeli media that the deal would be cancelled due to the delay in the project.The terms and conditions specified in the contract will be applied for the fifty-day delay.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.01.10) reported that Turkey's defense electronics equipment provider ASELSAN has signed a 71 million USD deal with the Turkish Defense Ministry as part of a howitzer project for the Turkish Armed Forces.

    ASELSAN said in a regulatory filing Thursday that it would develop an ordnance transfer system for Turkey's self-propelled howitzer, T-155 Firtina (or Storm), a Turkish variant of the South-Korean K-9 Thunder howitzers. The Turkish defence contractor said the ordnance transfer system would provide the Firtina with greater mobility and fire superiority against counter battery fire.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [09] From the Turkish Press of 7/01/10

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 7 January:

    a) Internal political issues

    In his article in Milliyet, columnist Fikret Bila views the "facts" behind the search being conducted in the "cosmic room" at the Regional Mobilization Department in connection with the alleged military plot to assassinate Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc. Arguing that a deliberate disinformation campaign has been carried out against the Turkish Armed Forces, TSK, since the apprehension of two military officers in an area close to Arinc's house, Bila recalls that judge Kadir Kayan started the search process as per Article 125 of the Law on Criminal Trial Procedures on 25 December 2009. He goes on to stress that Chief of the General Staff Ilker Basbug and the force commanders avoid speaking on the matter and prefer to issue written statements in order not to harm the judicial process. According to Bila, Gen Basbug, who received a briefing on the "debatable" Article 125, gave the following instruction: "It will be misunderstood if we obstruct the search. It might create the impression that we are trying to cover up, hide, or conceal something. No need to hesitate. We are not hiding anything. Open the doors. But also consider our legal rights for future developments." The columnist asserts that Gen Babsug will take the necessary legal action against the suspected military personnel if they are found guilty at the end of the judicial process.

    Criticizing Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal for his remarks that "it [ 2009] was the beginning of a period when our gratitude for decent and honorable people of this country was shaken off and people began to self-question," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Cengiz Candar welcomes the steps taken by the government to end the "military tutelage" in the country. He says in his article: "For me, 2009 was an extraordinary year where coup plans were revealed; putschers were exposed; and many case files of murders by unknown perpetrators were re-opened. And we see that the law can work even in the most sensitive bodies of the military."

    In an article entitled "Ergenekon and Ankara," Taraf columnist Ahmet Altan asserts that according to certain journalists in Ankara, President Gul and a group of AKP deputies advise Prime Minister Erdogan to "slow down the Ergenekon probe and establish warmer relation with the army." He categorically objects to that approach and warns against its fatal consequences. Altan says that thanks to the ongoing Ergenekon probe, many triggermen affiliated with that organization have been arrested. That is why, he speculates, the military officers who are willing to topple the government were tasked to look for the "security gaps" around Arinc's house. He goes on to warn that if the Erdogan administration slows down the investigation into the Ergenekon network and withdraw the judiciary from the cosmic room, then bombs may actually start to explode to assassinate certain figures in the society.

    A column by Milliyet's Hasan Cemal says that he disagrees with those who claim that Prime Minister Erdogan is dragging Turkey toward a "single-party autocratic regime." Recalling that he opposed an earlier argument that the Justice and Development Party, AKP, Government was planning to replace the secular regime with reactionaryism, Cemal asserts that some of the government policies, such as its approach to rights and freedoms, can certainly be criticized, however, he adds, no one can ignore the importance of Erdogan government's EU-related reforms, economic measures, and Kurdish overture for the "civilization and democratization of Turkey."

    Writing in the same newspaper, Asli Aydintasbas also rejects the idea that Turkey is turning into Putin's Russia under the leadership of Erdogan. Focusing on the question as to whether the Ergenekon process and the ensuing developments indicate that the "military state" is being replaced with a "police state" and the conflict between the state institutions is the result of the "elimination of former elites by the new elites," Aydintasbas asserts that she trusts the "common sense of the public" and argues that neither Abdullah Gul nor Rcep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan can be elected president in 2012 if the government actually attempts to set up an autocratic structure.

    A report by Sule Kokturk of Cumhuriyet outlines the results of a public opinion poll conducted by AKAM Research Company in 16 provinces between 1-3 January. According to the survey, Kokturk notes, the AKP votes dropped to 26 percent while the CHP increased its votes to 20 percent. Some 49 percent of the respondents admitted the presence of a polarization between the Turks and the Kurds in Turkey, it adds.

    In an article entitled "How Democratic is Erdogan?" Yeni Safak columnist Yalcin Akdogan, writing under the pseudonym Yasin Dogan, responds to criticism of what is described as the Erdogan government's authoritarian and anti-democratic stance, manifested in the way it has placed restrictions on press freedoms, refuses to listen to any suggestions, etc. Akdogan urges those who have started a "controversy" over Erdogan's commitment to democracy to remember that "it is this government that has passed the reforms described as a 'silent revolution' and changed laws formerly believed to be immutable, is addressing problems facing a number of social groups from minorities to Alevis and Kurds, pressing for normalization with Armenia and a solution to the Cyprus issue, and fighting illegal groups and gangs ..."

    In an article entitled "Unregistered Politics", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that the civilian investigation at the Special Forces Command means that "the same power that established this military body now wants it disbanded. It is determined to obtain what it wants and it can get ruthless to this end. The game is over. The players do not want to leave the stage; however, a new game is scheduled to start with new players. Remember how you ousted others from power and replaced them? Now it is your turn. The Cold War is over. You are just like the Japanese soldier who took to the mountains, refusing to believe that the war had ended."

    Under the headline, "Organized Business in Edirne," Zaman carries a front-page report which asserts that an investigation by the public prosecutor's office in Edirne into the recent disturbances in this northwestern province has revealed a plan by certain "provocateurs" to touch off a Turkish-Kurdish conflict.

    In an article entitled "If Basbug said, 'We answer to the political authority'" Zaman columnist Huseyin Gulerce calls on "the Kemalist-secularist-authoritarian ruling elite" to "recognize that the military-tutelage regime is coming to an end. All the buttresses of this regime have given way already. The news media have changed. Bar associations have changed. Universities have changed. The people have changed. The government is unlike any former governments and Turkey is no longer what it used to be." Gulerce also asserts that the ongoing civilian-military tensions would come to an end if Chief of Staff General Basbug were to hold a news conference attended by senior generals to get across the following message: "We want everybody to understand that we will expel pro-junta elements from our ranks. ... Turkey cannot avoid becoming democratized. The TSK should be answerable to the civilian authority. To make this happen, we should become subordinate to the Ministry of Defense."

    In an article entitled "State secrets hidden from political authorities" Today's Zaman columnist Lale Kemal describes the recent court ruling against the General Staff's appeal for an end to the investigation into top-secret documents at the Special Forces Command as "a breakthrough in the redefinition of the controversial concept of state secrets in this country."

    In an article entitled "Turkey in 2010: Confrontation or normalization?" Today's Zaman columnist Ibrahim Kalin argues that the future of democracy in Turkey cannot be secured unless the country draws up a new constitution in place of the current constitution "drafted by a group of generals who carried out the 1980 military coup in order to create a tutelary political system."

    In an article entitled "Election in the offing", Milli Gazete columnist Abdullah Ozkan warns that the current "chaotic environment" at home caused by the "crisis of confidence" between the Government and the TSK is doing serious damage to Turkey. He also predicts that an early general election in the autumn of 2010 will become inevitable unless the Government takes steps to defuse the ongoing tension

    b) Foreign Policy issues

    In an article entitled "So Much for Obama Peace", Yeni Safak columnist Akif Emre argues that the recent US operations in Sudan, Ethiopia, and Somalia and the US plan to use al-Qaida as a means of "justifying" a military intervention in Yemen with the ultimate purpose of "occupying" this country have already exposed Barack Obama's peace messages and "goodwill" to be merely a front as well as revealing the "optimism" created by the election of an African-American US citizen as president to be without basis and demonstrating that the United States puts its strategic interests above everything else.

    Under the headline, "From CAPA Hospital to CIA agent," Bugun publishes a front-page report which asserts that it has turned out that Khalil al-Balawi, who recently caused the CIA to "sustain one of the greatest losses in its history" through a suicide attack in Afghanistan, was a graduate of the Istanbul University of Medicine and married to a Turkish woman and had two children.


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