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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-01-11

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. 05/10 09-11.01.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Only the CTP is satisfied with the Turkish proposals submitted to the Greek Cypriot side in the Cyprus talks; Reactions by Turkish Cypriot political parties, Turkey and the Press
  • [02] Talat and Eroglu give assurances to the illegal Turkish colonizers in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [03] Eroglu stated that the approach of the Turkish side the Greek Cypriots will not accept it in any case should be abandoned
  • [04] Talat reiterated the need for the removal of the international isolations
  • [05] Eroglu on Presidential elections and on UBPs policy on the Cyprus problem
  • [06] Avci says in case of a party candidate in the elections in April, this candidate will be himself
  • [07] Talat confessed that whoever Ankara wants is elected in the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [08] Tore threatens President Christofias that because of his stance the Turkish flag will be waving on Troodos Mountains as well
  • [09] Deal foresees 7.000 Italian tourists to fly to occupied Cyprus in 2010
  • [10] The self-styled prime minister to travel to London
  • [11] Davutoglu to discuss the Cyprus problem in Britain with David Miliband
  • [12] Turkish ambassadors expressed support to Turkish Cypriots in their efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem based on bi-zonal structure and political equality of two states
  • [13] Davutoglu to restructure the foreign ministry
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] Yusuf Kanli asseses Talats recent trip to Ankara, the Turkish Cypriot package proposal and the impact a possible referendum in Cyprus will have for Turkish and Greek Cypriots
  • [15] From the Turkish Press of 09-10 January 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Only the CTP is satisfied with the Turkish proposals submitted to the Greek Cypriot side in the Cyprus talks; Reactions by Turkish Cypriot political parties, Turkey and the Press

    Under the title Only the CTP is satisfied, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (11.01.10) reports that the proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat to the Greek Cypriot side within the framework of the Cyprus talks have caused different comments in the Turkish Cypriot side. In statements to Kibris, representatives of the Turkish Cypriot political parties have generally said that the proposals will not and could not be accepted. Only the representative of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) made moderate statements notes the paper.

    Criticizing the fact that the proposals were leaked to the Greek Cypriot press, Tahsin Ertugruloglu, MP with the National Unity Party (UBP), said that unfortunately Mr Talat did not feel the need to agree on a package of proposals with the self-styled government and submitted these proposals to the Greek Cypriots. He noted that there are some articles in the proposals which cause concern and added that there is no need to mention them. Let us wait for the reply of the Greek Cypriot side and convey our overall views according to them, he said.

    Ertugrul Hasipoglu, MP with the Democratic Party (DP), said that it is not possible for them to accept the proposals of Talat and evaluated them as a mistake committed by the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Turgay Avci, leader of the Freedom and Reform party (ORP), described as far from the seriousness of a statesman and arrogant the statement made by President Christofias that the proposals have been prepared in Turkey and the fact that he called on Turkey to come to its senses. He alleged that the stance of the Greek Cypriot side shows that it is not after peace and solution.

    Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that they did not hear the proposals from Mr Talat himself and added that the proposals have been prepared in Ankara. Pointing out that articles that will not be accepted by the Greek Cypriots are included in the proposals, Mr Cakici said: Mr Talat could have submitted more comprehensive and conciliatory proposals. There could be articles which to be aimed only for the Turkish Cypriots. The proposal of accepting Turkey as if it acceded into the EU before joining the EU is an element which will not be possible. Proposals which are within this framework obstruct the solution and influence the process negatively. However, while the demand of increasing the federal authorities of the Turkish Cypriots as a return for the cross voting would be a positive stance in the give and take process, the demand to give to all the citizens of Turkey the same rights with Cyprus in the EU are proposals which obstruct the procedure.

    Izzet Izcan, chairman of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), said that the proposals have been prepared by Turkey and not by Mr Talat. He noted that they were imposed by the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the essence of the proposals includes the interests of Turkey. He noted that not only the Greek Cypriots, but the Turkish Cypriots as well cannot accept the 70 million citizens of Turkey to have the right to enter into the EU over Cyprus. This does not serve the solution. These are points which will strengthen the nationalists, the opponents of the solution and make the solution more difficult, he noted.

    In its Letter from Afrika column, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.01.10) refers to the proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat to the Greek Cypriot side within the framework of the Cyprus talks and the fact that he did not reveal these proposals to the Turkish Cypriots. Under the title With what face could he announce these? the paper addresses to those who complain that they were not informed about the proposals by Mr Talat and reports, inter alia, the following:

    ...Does he have the face to announce these proposals which are dealing a total blow to the solution and peace? Are these proposals for which one could boast and be proud of? He left aside the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and defends the rights of the 75-million population of Turkey! He sat at the table in order to defend our rights. But he puts the rights of the people of Turkey in front of Christofias! He is putting this forward as a condition. Do you expect him to come in front of us and announce such a thing with pride? And tell you look what beautiful proposals I have submitted for the solution and peace?

    One could not avoid thinking the following when he reads these proposals: Is this the last swindle of Turkey against Talat? Are they trying to prevent him from taking those few votes he would take from those parts of our society which support solution and peace? Has Ankara forced Talat to do this consciously? Is the weapon of the solution and peace taken away from Talat who has no other capital on which to build his election campaign? After he submitted these proposals which are rejected even by those Greek Cypriots who support peace the most, with which face will he come in front of the people and say I support the solution and united Cyprus? And who will believe him? Could a person who is in favour of the solution put as a condition to the other side the opening of the gates of tiny Cyprus to the 75-million population of Turkey? Could he ask for the airspace to be divided into Turkish and Greek? Could he make proposals for confederation while appearing as if he wants federation? ....

    Under the title They are starting, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.01.10) reports that the reconciliation process between the Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat and President Christofias is entering into a new stage with the intensified negotiations as of today.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.01.10) reports that the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs issued a statement alleging that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has undertaken many constructive initiatives and openings within the framework of the Cyprus negotiations including his proposal for a four party summit with the participation of Greece, Turkey and the two sides on the island. The ministry described the package of proposals submitted by the Turkish Cypriot side as important opening and claimed that it proves the sincerity of the Turkish Cypriot side on the issue of reaching to a just and lasting solution as soon as possible.

    The full support of Turkey to the approach put forward by the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat in the negotiations is expressed in the statement issued by Burak Ozugergin, Spokesman of the Turkish Foreign Ministry. The spokesman expressed the view that the necessary ground for reaching to a solution in Cyprus in the next few months exists and that establishing a federation based on political equality and the equal status of the Turkish and Greek founding states, as the leaders agreed in their statement of 23 May 2008, is possible.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (11.01.10) reports that Hasan Ercakica, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has expressed his regret for the fact that the proposals of the Turkish Cypriot side were published in the press before being discussed at the negotiating table and efforts were exerted for their being underestimated. Mr Ercakica evaluated the statement made yesterday by the Government Spokesman, Stefanos Stefanou who, speaking after the meeting of the Greek Cypriot party leaders at the Presidential Palace, said the proposals of the Turkish side are unacceptable and could not constitute a ground for the negotiations. Mr Ercakica said the Turkish side wants to officially hear the views of the Greek Cypriot side from President Christofias today in the negotiations.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat and Eroglu give assurances to the illegal Turkish colonizers in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (11.01.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat and the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu addressed an activity last night at the Pir Sultan Abdal Cyprus Cultural Association. Mr Talat referred to the Cyprus problem and said that as of today the Cyprus problem is entering into an intensified negotiating process. He alleged that the new proposals he submitted to President Christofias on the Governance and Power Sharing are acceptable and are not different than the proposals submitted until today.

    Noting that they gave the final shape to the proposals in consultation with Turkey, Mr Talat said: The allegations that we have prepared proposals which we have not made until today are definitely not true. Mr Talat alleged that they, as Turkish side, are activated for a solution and they exhibited their determination once more in the eyes of the world. We are on the eve of important developments, he argued.

    Mr Talat said that time is passing by and everybody is dealing with his everyday problems, but interest should be shown for the Cyprus problem as well. Referring obviously to the illegal Turkish colonizers on the island, Mr Talat added that the people who took roots in the TRNC and consider this place as their country should not worry. We do not intent to make your existence on the island an issue of bargaining, he noted adding that the people who go somewhere are integrated with the conditions which exist there and contribute to the culture of that place. This is what happened here, he alleged and added that they will be always together.

    In his statements, Mr Dervis Eroglu alleged that everybody who considers the TRNC as their country, wherever they came from, will live under the roof of this state and no one has the right to make comments on these persons.

    We are all one, we are all Moslems, the Motherland of all of us is Turkey, said Eroglu adding that they are members of the same nation who came here in different periods of time and are struggling to make this community to last forever.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Eroglu stated that the approach of the Turkish side the Greek Cypriots will not accept it in any case should be abandoned

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (11.01.10) publishes an interview with the self-styled prime minister, Dervis Eroglu who alleged that Ankara will not interfere in the elections in April just like it did not interfere in the elections in the past. When the journalist referred to the Cyprus problem and told him that now we are at the negotiating table, the whole world expects us to give concessions, Mr Eroglu replied the following: There is a policy saying that the Greek Cypriots will not accept it in any case. We should abandon the policy of the Greek Cypriots will not accept in any case. One day you will give so many concessions that Christofias will grab them and you will start struggling to find ways to save what you have given.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Talat reiterated the need for the removal of the international isolations

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.01.10) broadcast the following:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat has said that the ongoing international isolation of the Turks of Cyprus is unacceptable. He said that the removal of the international isolations, especially under the prevailing conditions of the non-solution of the Cyprus Problem was something they were trying to achieve.

    Speaking at a reception he attended last night, the President said that the ongoing negotiations process was particularly important for the younger generations.Explaining that the Turkish Side was working towards solving the Cyprus Problem and integrating the Cyprus Turkish people with the rest of the world by overcoming all obstacles, President Talat underlined the significance of the negotiations process.

    Talat also pointed out that the Turks of Cyprus did not share the same excitement and optimism as experienced in 2004 but added those who believe that there may be better alternatives other than a settlement reached through negotiations have serious mental problems.

    Praising civil society organizations in the TRNC for their contributing efforts to settle the Cyprus Problem as well as improve the TRNC economy, the President expressed the wish that 2010 will bring peace and prosperity to the world.

    [05] Eroglu on Presidential elections and on UBPs policy on the Cyprus problem

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.01.10) broadcast the following:

    "It is time for those who applauded the establishment of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus to run the Presidency". That's the message Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu delivered at a public briefing organized by his National Unity Party in Lefke [occupied Lefka]. Prime Minister Eroglu assured that the UBP is not against reaching a sustainable settlement in Cyprus.

    The Premier's statement is an answer to those claiming that the Cyprus problem will not be solved if Eroglu wins the presidential elections.

    He underlined the need for making the international community accept the fact that it is the Greek Cypriot Side which has been displaying an intransigent attitude.

    The UBP has been acting in the world of politics since 1976 and the Greek Cypriot Side has always been the side rejecting the resolution plans he went on saying.

    The Premier also criticized the European Union for making the solution of the Cyprus problem complicated by approving the Greek Cypriot side's unilateral membership and failing to keep its promise on the lifting of the international isolation on the Turks of Cyprus.

    If the UBP gains the seat at the negotiations table, it will be serving the will of the Cyprus Turkish People and not that of the EU he added.

    [06] Avci says in case of a party candidate in the elections in April, this candidate will be himself

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (11.01.10) reports that Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) has stated that his party has something serious to say on the Cyprus problem, just as on every issue. According to journalist Hasan Hasturer, Mr Avci noted that therefore the ORP will participate in the elections in April either with a common candidate or with its own. Mr Avci pointed out that in case of a party candidate, this candidate will be himself.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Talat confessed that whoever Ankara wants is elected in the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (11.01.10) reports that after the statement made by the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Rauf Denktas that whoever Ankara wants is elected in the elections in the occupied areas of Cyprus, the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat has also confessed this by saying in statements to media from Turkey that those whose road does not pass from Ankara cannot be elected as president.

    The paper writes that Mr Talat confessed a reality expressed for many years by Afrika by saying the following: Ankara may have a preference in the elections. This does not mean direct interference. Those whose road does not pass from Ankara cannot be elected as president. That is, those who are not in harmony with Turkey cannot be elected.

    Mr Talat noted also that the approach of the candidate to the [Cyprus] problem and his vision bears importance for the continuation of the negotiations. The paper writes that Talat is waiting for the step which the committee of the National Unity Party (UBP) will take on 19 January in order to officially launch his campaign. Noting that he has made up his mind on whether he will be a candidate, Mr Talat expressed the belief that he will win in case he is a candidate.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Tore threatens President Christofias that because of his stance the Turkish flag will be waving on Troodos Mountains as well

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (11.01.10) reports that Zorlu Tore, self-styled MP with the National Unity Party (UBP), has commented on statements made by President Christofias regarding Turkey and the Turkish flag on the occupied Pentadaktylos Mountain and alleged that the stance of President Christofias might become the reason for the Turkish flag to be waving on Troodos Mountains as well.

    Noting that President Christofias has described the Turkish flag on Pentadaktylos as monstrosity, Mr Tore alleged: In the same manner that we do not insult the Greek flags in southern Cyprus, Christofias and the other Greek Cypriot leaders should not be defeated by their hate. It should not be forgotten that those who act while being angry, suffer a loss. However, if they are not able to control their anger and grab the weapons to attack, let them know that they will become the reason for the Turkish flag to wave on Troodos Mountains as well. They can never bring our flag down from Pentadaktylos Mountains through negotiations....

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Deal foresees 7.000 Italian tourists to fly to occupied Cyprus in 2010

    Under the front page title Italian invasion, Turkish Cypriot daily Cyprus Today midweek newspaper (09.01.10) reported the following:

    Troubled Cyprus Turkish Airlines (CTA) and TRNC-based tour operator Northern Travel Ltd (NTL) have clinched a deal to bring 7,000 Italian tourists to North Cyprus in 2010.

    Following discussions lasting more than seven hours on Thursday, both companies signed a contract with Rome-based Prima Classe.

    The partnership will see two CTA airlines complete at least 44 charter flights between Milan, Verona, Bologna, Rome and Ercan [occupied Tymvou] airport this summer.

    The first batch of tourists will arrive on May 25, with subsequent flights landing weekly on Mondays and Tuesdays until late September. If demand is great enough, a weekly flight will also be scheduled from Rome later in the season.

    The holidaymakers will stay at the Merit Crystal Cove, Mercure and Oscar Hotels in Girne [occupied Keryneia] the Salamis Bay Conti in Gazi Magusa [occupied Famagusta] and Noahs Ark hotel in Bafra [occupied Vokolida].

    This weeks deal was secured when Prima Classe bosses agreed to a 100,000 euro insurance guarantee with CTA, a condition sought by the carrier to avoid loss in case of cancellation.

    Prime Classe has outlined plans to sell on about 3,000 of the package holiday places to fellow Italian tour operator MySunSea.

    Ozbek Dedekorku, co-owner of NTL, thanked CTA general manager Erol Atakan for helping to land the deal.

    He said: Despite some of the problems, I am pleased with the deal. At the end of the day, our struggle and our aim is to benefit tourism in North Cyprus.

    Mr Dedekorkut said his company had chosen to work with CTA because it was the national carrier and cheaper than other airlines.

    CTA is based in North Cyprus so the planes are already here, he said. This decreases the cost of flights. The company has free days available for flights and, most importantly, it is our airlines.

    In November, Cyprus Today reported that Northern Travel had signed a protocol agreement with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Environment to bring tourists from Italy to North Cyprus.

    But, a month later, rumours surfaced that CTA had scrapped its agreement with NTL in favour of a deal with rival TRNC tour operator Res-Tur, owned by Resmiye Canaltay, Prime Minister Dervis Eroglus daughter. The rumour was later scotched by an NTL spokesman.

    Approximately 1,500 Italian tourists flew to Ercan [occupied Tymvou airport], during 2009, following a link-up between NTL and MySunSea.

    But in July last year, there were claims that a move to bring a total of 10,000 Italians to the TRNC had been scuppered by the Greek Cypriot government after the administration unfairly pressured Italian travel firms into boycotting the TRNC.

    Following protests from North Cyprus, on August 8 the Italian parliament stated that North Cyprus was a valid holiday destination.

    Gazi Magusa [occupied Famagusta] based Res-Tur has also launched a scheme to bring tourists from Italy to the TRNC this summer.

    Director Ali Ozduran said flights arranged by his company through CTA would begin in April but declined to comment further.

    [10] The self-styled prime minister to travel to London

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (09.12.09) reports that the self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu is set to travel to the British capital of London on February 3 for a series of contacts. Mr Eroglu will hold a 4-day visit to London as guest of the Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce UK (CTCC), which will organize a conference regarding Cyprus. In addition, Mr Eroglu will meet with NGOs and the business world activated in the UK.

    (EA)

    [11] Davutoglu to discuss the Cyprus problem in Britain with David Miliband

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will visit Britain on January 11 and 12 on a working trip.

    In a press release issued on Friday, the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Davutoglu and his British counterpart David Miliband would discuss bilateral relations, Turkey's EU accession process, Cyprus and other regional and international issues.

    Davutoglu will also meet with other important British dignitaries.

    Ahmet Davutoglu will deliver a speech on common interests of Turkey and Britain at the King's College.

    [12] Turkish ambassadors expressed support to Turkish Cypriots in their efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus problem based on bi-zonal structure and political equality of two states

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.01.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish ambassadors defined on Friday Turkey's European Union (EU) process as essential.

    Turkish ambassadors, who have held a week-long meeting in capital Ankara under the chairmanship of Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, released a final declaration in which they defined Turkey's EU membership bid as crucial.

    The declaration said Turkey had to complete its adjustment to the EU till the end of 2013, and underlined importance of the accession process for both Turkey and the EU.

    It is for every one's best interests for these two international actors, who have a common vision, common future and common interests, to progress on this process, the declaration said.

    The declaration also said Turkey was extending full support to the constructive efforts of Turkish Cypriots to find a lasting and fair settlement to Cyprus question.

    It also said a settlement should be based on bi-zonal structure and political equality of two founder and equal states.

    Turkey is ready to cooperate with other motherland and guarantor state Greece for a comprehensive settlement, the declaration said.

    The declaration said all concerned parties should take responsibility, and expressed Turkey's expectation from the United Nations (UN) and the international community to assume a more active and encouraging role.

    It also said that Middle East, Iraq, Iran's nuclear program controversy and energy were the other topics debated in the conference.

    In the declaration, the ambassadors once more expressed their expectation that the embargo on the Gaza Strip would be lifted and regional conditions would be rehabilitated.

    The ambassadors also said Iran's nuclear program controversy should be solved diplomatically and peacefully.

    Brazilian, Japanese, and German foreign ministers delivered speeches in the conference that began on Monday. President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas also participated in the week-long conference.

    [13] Davutoglu to restructure the foreign ministry

    Hurriyet Daily News.com (10.01.10) reported the following:

    In an effort to meet the needs of more active and more inclusive diplomacy, the Foreign Ministry moved to restructure both its duties and foundation. The draft law envisaging the restructuring of the ministry will soon be submitted to Parliament.

    The move came just days after the ministry concluded a week-long conference on the future of Turkish diplomacy. Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the ministry needed a better structure to deal with global issues.

    According to the draft law, which has been posted on the ministrys Web site, some radical changes will be made in the composition of the organization. To be able to spread the activities of the Foreign Ministry, young diplomats will have to serve for a short while in provincial governors offices to familiarize with the country they are assigned to.

    The law also envisages increasing the ministrys staff capacity. Davutoglu said they would diversify the human resources of the Foreign Ministry without shaking the traditions of the ministry. According to this, graduates of university departments such as history and sociology will be able to enter the ministry if they can pass the necessary exams. Until now, only graduates of political sciences, international relations and law could take the entrance exams.

    The bill also paves the way for administrative personnel to advance in their career. In line with their performances, administrative personnel could also be appointed as consul generals. This will mean a separation of consular and diplomatic affairs, which will let career diplomats only deal with diplomatic issues.

    The law also foresees the establishment of a public diplomacy secretariat that would make the activities of the ministry more public. Also, Turkish diplomacy will greet younger ambassadors, as the appointment system will be based on performance rather than the age.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] Yusuf Kanli asseses Talats recent trip to Ankara, the Turkish Cypriot package proposal and the impact a possible referendum in Cyprus will have for Turkish and Greek Cypriots

    Hurriyet Daily News.com (08.01.10) published a commentary by Yusuf Kanli under the title Cyprus fine-tuning.Following is the commentary:

    Turkish Cypriot President Mehmet Ali Talat was in Ankara on Thursday and was scheduled to stay until Friday afternoon and return to Cyprus on a scheduled flight. After his Friday appointment with President Abdullah Gul was canceled because of Guls illness, the Turkish Cypriot president left Ankara for northern Cyprus onboard the special jet of the Prime Ministry.

    It was a half-day and rather busy stay. Talat addressed a Foreign Ministry conference, which some 200 Turkish ambassadors serving abroad or occupying key positions at the ministry headquarters attended. He also had a one-hour-long meeting with Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and attended a working dinner with Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.

    It was indeed just a calibration visit, as only last month Talat was in Ankara for extensive talks on the fresh moves to be taken in the United Nations-facilitated direct Cyprus talks between Talat and his Greek Cypriot counterpart Demetris Christofias. While Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side still refuse to describe it as a package or a plan at that meeting and during ensuing technical-level talks in Ankara and in northern Cyprus, as well as during recent contacts of Turkish Cypriot Prime Minister Dr. Dervis Eroglu in Ankara, a six-page fresh set of proposals regarding governance and power sharing was concluded.

    That package was verbally presented to Christofias at the first meeting of this year and an official paper was presented to the Greek Cypriot leader through the U.N. secretary-generals special Cyprus adviser, Alexander Downer on Thursday, moments before Talat arrived in Ankara and almost at the same time U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon phoned separately both Talat and Christofias and wished success during the intensified talks due to start on Monday.

    Talat and Christofias will hold six intensified meetings as of Jan. 11. They will meet for three days as of Jan. 11, and then meet again on Jan. 25 and hold negotiations for three consecutive days, during which matters related to governance and power sharing and economy will be discussed.

    The main theme of the Cyprus calibration meetings in Ankara was to reiterate the resolve of the Turkish Cypriot side to be pro-settlement with a proactive and settlement-seeking understanding based on a strategy to force the Greek Cypriot side to understand the high cost of being adamant and thus to be affirmative toward the constructive compromise proposals of the Turkish Cypriot side, which are an integrated set, not an la carte menu.

    At the accelerated talks to start on Monday Talat will not accept a partial yes to the latest package he has presented to the Greek Cypriot side because the entire set of proposals were built on a fine balance. The proposals were not presented in a take it or leave it understanding but rather as headed by cross-voting on many demands of Christofias that might be accepted with the new set of proposals.

    This has to be balanced out with Greek Cypriots moving on some key demands of Turkish Cypriots, such as giving Turkish nationals the so-called four rights freedom of movement, settlement, owning property and employment throughout Cyprus and the separate flight information regions of the two constituent states and veto rights for the president and the vice president.

    While Christofias will be shown in the accelerated talks process that there might be a heavy price to turning his back categorically to Turkish Cypriot proposals, the Turkish Cypriot side will try as well to avoid at the talks a mentality tantamount to horse trading.

    Another key issue discussed at the Ankara talks was apparently how to prepare the Turkish Cypriot community, as well as mainland Turkish population for the idea of a painful compromise settlement on Cyprus. While a double yes could usher a new era of a reunited Cyprus, a double no might force the international community to start considering some other options, perhaps two independent Cyprus states, rather than a reunited island.

    A Greek Cypriot second no vote (the first was to the U.N. peace plan in 2004) might as well bring on the international agenda the idea that perhaps a Cyprus union should be sought through EU membership of two states on the island. But, a Turkish Cypriot no vote in a referendum on a settlement plan could bring about devastating results.

    Thus, even though a settlement plan and a referendum are not yet in the horizon, there is an apparent need to start public diplomacy with the aim and intention of promoting perception of the benefits of a settlement. With so strong opposition to Talat in northern Cyprus, presidential elections scheduled for April and rejections of many proposals by Prime Minister Eroglu, it will be rather difficult to promote a yes vote on a peace plan that is not yet done.

    [15] From the Turkish Press of 09-10 January 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 09-10 January 2010:

    a) Internal Issues:

    According to a report by Suleyman Demirkan in Istanbul Hurriyet (09.01.10), the Turkish Grand National Assembly Subcommittee on Internal Affairs has ignored the General Staff warning that the involvement of individuals and private companies in the importation of arms into the country might weaken control on arms and create an opportunity for illegal organizations to benefit from the situation. The report says that the General Staff conveyed a memorandum to the committee to express its view that control over the arms that are imported for the military forces and other institutions will weaken if the parliament passes the new bill before it is amended.

    In a column in Istanbul Milliyet (09.01.10), Melih Asik opposes the government's new bill that will authorize the police and the National Intelligence Organization, MIT, to import the heavy arms they need. He wonders whether the police will use mortars, rocket launchers, and machine guns to establish law and order in the country and draws attention to the General Staff's objection. Asik asks: "What is the objective? The police fulfill their duties in Britain without carrying arms. Is it not true that the plan to allow the police, who are responsible for law and order in the country, to use heavy arms to fulfill their duties is very interesting?"

    In a column in Istanbul Radikal (09.01.10), Ismet Berkan argues on 9 January that the view that military tutelage is ending in Turkey is wrong. Stressing that the debate on the matter cannot be taken seriously, he notes: "The detention of a few soldiers, the interrogation of a few military servicemen, and the search conducted in one of the most secret rooms of a headquarters in Ankara should not be taken to mean that the military tutelage is ending in the country." Stressing that military tutelage is supported by the laws, he faults the government for failing to take measures to remove it and draws attention to the authoritarian rule of the, Justice and Development Party, AKP, and Prime Minister Erdogan and notes: However, the problem is partly caused by the AKP administration in power. The party could not be expected to establish a coalition after coming to power with the support of the 47 percent of the electorate." Berkan argues that the problem of democracy has not changed in the country and claims that debate on military tutelage and civilian fascism will continue to exist until balancing mechanisms are added to the constitution.

    Relating to the government's initiative to change the law on referendums, Sedat Ergin wonders why the administration plans to simplify the law. In a column in Istanbul Hurriyet (09.01.10), he notes: According to Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek, the four-month waiting period for a referendum is unnecessary. So, reducing that period will be useful. Ergin says that the government's initiative will create a difficult situation for the opposition groups, and notes that they are not inclined to support a constitutional reform at the present time. He concludes by expressing the view the initiative might be aimed at preparing the ground to accuse the opposition of obstructing constitutional reforms.

    In a column in Istanbul Milliyet (09.01.10), Fikret Bila cites Republican People's Party [CHP] leader Deniz Baykal opposing the government's bill to amend the law on referendums and describing it as a plan to change the constitution. He quotes Baykal as saying: "They submitted a bill to reduce the period required for a referendum to 45 days. Meanwhile, they said that an effort to amend the constitution and hold early elections is not on the agenda. That is not convincing at all. I do not know whether the bill confirms that a plan has been drawn up for early elections. However, it is definitely a sign for constitutional amendments. They [government] are aware that a debate for a long time will weaken them. So, they want to reduce the period that is required for a referendum. Obviously, they want to realize constitutional amendments without a lengthy debate in the public opinion." In the latter part of his column, Fikret Bila quotes Minister of Justice Sadullah Ergin denying the reports on a plan to amend the constitution. He quotes Ergin as saying, "The amendment of the constitution in a short period is out of the question."

    Under the headline, "Be quiet. Judge at work," Vakit (09.01.10) publishes a front-page report which asserts that a group of NGOs staged a demonstration before the Ankara Court House yesterday to protest the media "pressure" on the judicial officials who are conducting searches at the Special Forces Command as part of the investigation into the alleged military plot to kill Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc.

    In an article entitled "A new constitution needed to be able to achieve true political power", Milli Gazete (09.01.10) columnist Abdulkadir Ozkan advises the ruling AKP against arranging a referendum on a constitutional amendment package to take place simultaneously with a general election, asserting that doing so might even cause the election results to become questionable.

    According to Rauf Tamer in Istanbul Hurriyet (10.01.10), the state institutions, including the police and the military forces, cannot be trusted. In a column, he argues that the police organization cannot be trusted because it might establish a new army with the arms it will import and the military forces cannot be trusted because it might carry out a coup anytime. Regarding the opposition parties, Tamer says that they, too, cannot be trusted because they might cooperate with the coupist elements. Focusing on the administration, he argues that it might set up a shari'a state in the country.

    Ahmet Altan, in a column in Istanbul Taraf (10.01.10), criticizes those who area opposed to the measures the government takes to establish law and order and remove illegal organizations. Lamenting that they have nothing to say against the Ergenekon and other unlawful activities, he argues: "These brave people attach no importance to coups, activities of pro-junta elements, assassinations, discovery of secret munitions, and military memorandums. It is true that they have courage. However, they fear the prime minister and his party. They fear that the prime minister will stage a coup. The brave people are not afraid of the possibility of a military coup. However, they fear the possibility of a civilian coup... Of course, those who claim to be democrats must also be mentioned. They claim that they are opposed to military and civilian coups. Alright, we understand what a military coup means. But, how will a civilian coup be carried out? They fear Prime Minister Erdogan, whose votes decreased from 47 percent to 32 percent... What makes them fear is the possibility that the military forces might withdraw to their barracks. They probably do not fear Erdogan. However they fear the withdrawal of the military forces from politics. But, they are democrats. So, they cannot say that out loud. Instead, they argue that they fear a civilian coup.

    In an article entitled "A plan for an early election" Yeni Safak (10.01.10) columnist Fehmi Koru says that an early election is a very remote possibility in spite of calls made by the opposition parties which, he notes, are also supported by the mainstream media. Pointing out that all opinion polls recently conducted indicated that the ruling Justice and Development Party, AKP, will poll higher than other parties in the next election, Koru comments: "The opposition parties are in favor of an early election not because their expectation that voter support for the AKP will decline significantly, but due to their concerns about possible developments which may take place until the next general election. The Government's overture packages have not yielded any result yet. But, each overture may produce concrete results by July 2011 and convince even its skeptics. People who oppose the 'democratization overture' may change their mind if more people fighting against the army lay down their arms." Koru adds that the opposition parties may also be anxious due to efforts to found new political parties which may lure their supporters.

    Under the banner headline "Edirne was swarmed with intelligence officers before incidents," Zaman (10.01.10) carries a front-paged report which says that a group of retired non-commissioned officers and intelligence officers provoked clashes between angry mobs and the supporters of the Revolutionary People's Liberation Party-Front, a Marxist outlawed organization, in Edirne on 3 January.

    b) Cyprus Problem:

    A front-page report in Todays Zaman (09.01.10) entitled "Talat: Cyprus to top Turkey's Foreign Policy agenda in 2010" quotes Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat as having said in an interview with this daily that the Cyprus problem is expected to have been solved "by the time Turkey is ready to join the European Union."

    EG/


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