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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-02-08

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. 25/10 06-08.02.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat evaluates his contacts in Brussels
  • [02] More on Eroglus contacts in the UK; They are getting ready to file lawsuits for the Turkish Cypriot missing people
  • [03] Eroglu argues that judiciary is the only issue on which agreement was reached in the Cyprus talks; Statements prior to his return from London
  • [04] Ozdil Nami alleges that the Turkish Cypriot side will do its share for a concrete progress in three chapters to be achieved by March
  • [05] Turkeys Education Minister holds contacts in occupied Cyprus
  • [06] Reports say that Turkey looks positively at the election of Ertugruloglu to the post of the chairman of the UBP in the place of Eroglu and that Talat seems to have completed his mission for Turkey
  • [07] Serdar Denktas says the DP will not support Eroglu in the elections
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot associations in Germany will launch a campaign for gathering fifty thousand signatures to be conveyed to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • [09] Yeni Volkan alleges that the occupied closed city Varosha will soon be returned to its legal Greek Cypriot owners
  • [10] Huge investment in occupied Galateia village by a Turkish Cypriot who lived in the UK
  • [11] The chairman of the illegal DAU chairs the Think-Tank Forum of the Islamic Countries
  • [12] Davutoglus intensive diplomacy traffic in Munich
  • [13] Turkeys Erdogan met with the US Defence Secretary in Ankara
  • [14] Gul to be the first Turkish President in 15 years to visit India
  • [15] Highlights of 2009 Media Monitoring Report in Turkey

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat evaluates his contacts in Brussels

    Illegal Bayrak television (06.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat said that the future of the Turks of Cyprus lay with becoming part of the European Union, integrating with the rest of the world and settling the Cyprus Problem.

    The President, who completed his contacts in Brussels, returned to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus last night. Speaking upon his arrival at Ercan [illegal Tymvou] Airport, the President evaluated his meeting with the President of the European Parliament Jerzy Buzek. Explaining that it had been three years since he had met the President of the European Parliament, Talat said that he had briefed the President of the European Parliament on the Turkish sides positions and expectations regarding the ongoing negotiations.

    Talat said that he had also conveyed to Buzek his expectations from the European Parliament and listed these as the declaration of Turkish as an official language by the European Parliament, the establishment of TRNC-EP Joint Parliamentary Committee and the direct representation of the TRNC at the Parliament as envisaged in the Annan Plan. Stating that they had discussed ways of easing the international isolation of the Turks of Cyprus during the meeting, the President explained that the Greek Cypriot Administrations EU membership posed a serious obstacle in achieving this.

    Touching upon his other contacts, the President said that he had discussed with the Director General for Enlargement Michael Leigh issues concerning the implementation of the Green Line Regulation as well as direct trade. As for his meeting with the European Parliaments Rapporteur on Turkey, Dutch MEP Ria Oomen Ruijten, the President said that he had conveyed the Turkish Sides objections and concerns regarding areas in Turkeys report concerning Cyprus. Talat expressed the view that the inclusion of issues being negotiated in the talks in the report was dangerous.

    The President also described the conference he delivered in Brussels titled A turning point in the Cyprus negotiations as useful and productive.

    Furthermore, Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.02.10) reported the following:

    The Turkish Cypriot president foresaw on Friday his country's future in integration with the world. President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said the secure future of Turkish Cypriot people lied in integration with the world and accession to the European Union (EU).

    We can ensure this future by settling the Cyprus problem, Talat told reporters on his way back from Brussels, Belgium. Talat defined his talks in Brussels fruitful, and said European Parliament's (EP) President Jersy Buzek was willing to visit the island.

    President Talat also met Michael Leigh, the director general of the EU for enlargement, and EP's Turkey rapporteur Ria Oomen-Ruijten. During his meetings with EU executives, Talat debated implementation of direct trade regulation and the Green Line Regulation and expressed his concerns over the paragraphs of a draft EP resolution regarding Turkey which referred to Cyprus problem. Ratification of such a report by the EP, which wants to contribute to settlement of Cyprus problem, will hamper its impartiality, Talat said. However, he did not think the EU could be impartial because it included only the Greek Cypriot side of the island, he said.

    Talat also delivered a speech on Cyprus controversy during a breakfast at the European Policy Centre on the sidelines of his visit to Brussels.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.02.10) reported the following from Brussels:

    President Mehmet Ali Talat of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) warned that EU institutions had further complicated efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue by being involved in the process without having detailed information about the issue.

    Speaking at a meeting at the think-tank organization, the European Policy Centre, in Brussels, President Talat reacted strongly to the European Parliament's draft about Turkey in which the European Parliament called on Turkey to start withdrawing its soldiers from the island, open Maras [closed Varosha area] region to the Greek Cypriots and to resolve the issue of Turkish citizens who settled in northern Cyprus.

    The EU institutions have failed to keep their promise to lift isolations on Turkish Cypriot people who voted in favour of the Annan Plan in the twin referendum on the island. EU institutions have complicated efforts to find a solution to the Cyprus issue by being involved in the process without having detailed information about the issue. Foreign interventions must be unbiased and they should encourage the parties to find a solution. But the EU is not constructive about the Cyprus issue. The EU accepted the Greek Cypriot administration as a full member before the Cyprus issue was resolved. Therefore, it does not have the right to play a political role in the Cyprus issue now. If it really wants a solution, it should urge Greek Cypriots to contribute to a solution and lift isolations on the TRNC.

    More than 90 percent of Turkish Cypriots expressed their confidence in the EU in a public survey in 2002. This rate, today, dropped sharply since the EU failed to keep its promises. Also, Greek Cypriots occupied two seats allocated by the European Parliament for Turkish Cypriots, he said.

    It was not the Turkish army which led to the Cyprus issue. Turkish army dispatched troops to the island because there was a problem. If we reach a solution, Turkey will withdraw its troops from the island, he said.

    President Talat also gave the message they were not planning to halt the process of intensified talks because of the upcoming presidential election in the TRNC in April.

    [02] More on Eroglus contacts in the UK; They are getting ready to file lawsuits for the Turkish Cypriot missing people

    Illegal Bayrak television (06.02.10) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu is continuing his contacts in London. Today, Mr Eroglu embarked on his contacts with a visit to the Ali Degirmencioglu Turkish School. Later, he came together with Turkish journalists at a lunch. In the afternoon, Mr Eroglu attended a meeting organized by the London based Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce.

    Yesterday, the TRNC Premier came together with Lord Magginis and Lord Sheih, both of whom are members of the House of Lords. Evaluating his meetings, Mr Eroglu said he was happy to have had the chance to come together with friends from the House of Lords who he said had asked important questions about the Cyprus issue. It is pleasing to see people, who see the realities of the Cyprus issue, express their sensibility on the Cyprus issue, he added.

    Following his contacts at the House of Lords, Mr Eroglu then attended a program at the London Turkish Radio in Wood Green and later inaugurated a business owned by a Cypriot Turk in Edmonton. Many guests, including TRNC London Representative Kemal Koprulu, Mayor of Enfield Eleftherios Savva as well as a large number of Turks of Cyprus living in London attended the inauguration ceremony. In the evening, Mr Eroglu came together with Cyprus Turkish Businessmen in London at a dinner.

    Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (05.02.10) reports the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has said that he is asking the support of his people, not the European Union or the Greek Cypriot Leader, in Aprils Presidential elections in the TRNC.

    The Prime Minister was addressing a crowd of Turks living in Britain at a meeting organized in Wood Green by the London-based Cyprus Turkish Chamber of Commerce. In his speech, Prime Minister Eroglu underlined the need to take the realities on the island into consideration while negotiating a settlement to the Cyprus problem. Criticizing those who branded him as intransigent for saying that he would not cede an inch of land, the Premier asked is there a Prime Minister in any country who accepts to give land? Am I guilty of rejecting to strip away our land?

    Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot Leader Christofias was portrayed as an angel of peace when he came to power after Papadopoulos, he said it shouldnt be forgotten that Christofias was in support of Papadopoulos during the 2004 referenda. The Premier stressed that Turkey is not an occupying force in Cyprus and that it is the Greek Cypriots who have an occupying administration on the island, adding that the United Nations is keeping a close eye on this issue. He also complained that the European Union committed a crime by accepting the Greek Cypriots into the Block, a move which he said, was the reason behind the continuation of the Cyprus problem.

    Responding to a question, Mr Eroglu said he would continue the negotiations with the Greek Cypriot Side with the aim of bringing about an agreement that will satisfy the Cyprus Turkish People, and not the Greek Cypriot Leader.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (06.02.10) reports that Mr Eroglu also stated that they are getting ready to file lawsuits for the Turkish Cypriot missing people and for the Turkish Cypriot properties in the free areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    [03] Eroglu argues that judiciary is the only issue on which agreement was reached in the Cyprus talks; Statements prior to his return from London

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (08.02.10) reports that Dervis Eroglu, self-styled prime minister of the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, has responded to statements reportedly made by President Christofias regarding the forthcoming elections in the occupied areas of the island and alleged that trying to direct the will of the Turkish Cypriot people is a shame and wrong.

    In statements to journalists in London, Mr Eroglu was asked how he will deal with the issues on which agreement has been reached during the Cyprus talks. He said: There is only one issue on which agreement has been reached and this is the issue of the judiciary. If this has been accepted, I accept it, I am not going to say let us negotiate it again. Mr Eroglu argued that no agreement has been achieved on issues such as the governance and power sharing, the EU, the economy, the property, the territory and the guarantees. Therefore, they have agreed on almost absolutely no issue, in order for me to come and reject the issues which are agreed.

    Mr Eroglu reiterated his view that the reality of the state should be the starting point at the negotiating table and alleged: If a person who lives in the TRNC does not see that he lives under the roof of a state, he cannot be successful at that negotiating table.

    Mr Eroglu said that President Christofias exerts efforts to present the TRNC as a community and not as a state and added: If both sides accept that they are equal, an agreement can be reached at the negotiating table.

    Mr Eroglu noted that if he is elected, he will be the head of the negotiating team of the Turkish Cypriot side, but he could make some changes of persons in this team.

    Mr Eroglu noted that the officials of Turkey must state to the world that they support the person who carries out the negotiations and this is why they do it. He said that this does not mean that they support Mr Talat in the elections. He said: However, those who are in the government in Turkey must state in front of the outside world that they support the person who sits at the negotiating table. Otherwise, Turkey might face the accusation that it does not want a solution.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.02.10) reports that Mr Eroglu returned to the island last night.

    In addition, illegal Bayrak television (07.02.10) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has completed his London visit. He is expected to return to the Republic tonight. Yesterday the Prime Minister came together with Turkish journalists at a working lunch. Speaking here, the Prime Minister answered journalists questions regarding the Cyprus negotiations process.

    He informed them that the Turkish side was continuing at the negotiations process with good will but added that the Greek Cypriot side was still continuing with its no campaign. Noting that the Turkish side had been greatly disappointed with the outcome of the Annan plan, Eroglu said the side that said no was rewarded. But the Cyprus Turks are now evaluating the messages that are coming from abroad quite well. They only trust themselves and motherland Turkey.

    Upon being asked a question about whether his party was at the extremes and claims that Turkey will never support such a party, Prime Minister Eroglu retorted neither I nor my party are at the extremes, as the Prime Minister I must stand up for our statehood. Noting that the reality that the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus exists cannot be ignored Mr Eroglu added that if a person cannot understand that the place he is living in has its own statehood then that person cannot be successful during the negotiations process. If I were at the negotiating table I would see myself as an equal to the Greek Cypriot side. I too have a state. Christofias is trying to create an atmosphere that we are a community and nothing more said the Prime Minister.

    Explaining that he would continue to support President Mehmet Ali Talat during the Cyprus negotiations process, Mr Eroglu said we have extended our support but that does not mean that we will allow him to do everything.Noting that it was only natural that Turkey supported and defended President Talat at the negotiating table against the rest of the world, Eroglu clarified this does not mean that Turkey will be supporting Talat during the Presidential elections.Upon being asked a question regarding who will become the prime minister and party leader if he were to be chosen as President, Mr Eroglu replied I am running for the Presidential seat, Im sure there are some friends who want to become the party leader but I cannot think about this now. When the time comes we will sit down and discuss this.

    Upon being reminded that Demetris Christofias had expressed his support for Mehmet Ali Talat for the upcoming presidential elections, Mr Eroglu replied the Turks of Cyprus will choose who will become president. It is rude to interfere in the peoples choice.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Ozdil Nami alleges that the Turkish Cypriot side will do its share for a concrete progress in three chapters to be achieved by March

    Under the title No one has the luxury to leave from the table, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (07.02.10) publishes an interview by Ozdil Nami, special envoy of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat.

    Replying to questions on the Cyprus problem and the progress achieved at the negotiations so far, Mr Nami alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side will do its share for a concrete progress in three chapters to be achieved by March.

    Mr Nami also alleged that the Turkish side is waiting for a reply by the Greek Cypriot side on a proposal submitted for the re-launching of the negotiations on Monday --a proposal which was conveyed to President Demetris Christofias by Presidential Commissioner, George Iacovou, as Mr Nami said-- and added that no one has the luxury to leave from the table of the negotiations.

    Noting that the chapter over property is considered to be the most difficult one, Mr Nami said that the issue is very complicated and alleged that a formula is necessary to be found on the issue.

    (ML)

    [05] Turkeys Education Minister holds contacts in occupied Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (06.02.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    The Turkish Minister of National Education Nimet Cubukcu who was in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus as guest of the Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports Kemal Durust, left the republic last night after wrapping up her contacts. Yesterday, delegations from the TRNC Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports and the Turkish Education Ministry held a meeting in Lefkosia.

    Speaking at the meeting, the Turkish Minister of Education Nimet Cubukcu said that her country supported the continuation of the cooperation protocol that existed between the two countries. She also said that she had appointed experts to assist the commission established to review and prepare new Cyprus history books.

    As part of her other contacts, Mrs Cubukcu visited the Commander of the Turkish Peace Forces in Cyprus Lieutenant General Hilmi Akin Zorlu, the Minister of National Education, Youth and Sports Kemal Durust and Parliamentary Speaker Hasan Bozer, respectively. Later, she had inspections at the Faculties of Medicine and Dentistry of the Near East University.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.02.10) reported the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish National Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu said on Friday that Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) was very suitable for being an education base. Cubukcu arrived in TRNC on Thursday as the guest of TRNC Education, Youth and Sports Minister Kemal Durust. She began her meetings today with TRNC Parliament Speaker Hasan Bozer, Turkish Cypriot Peace Forces Commander Gen. Hilmi Akin Zorlu as well as Minister Durust.

    During her talks, Cubukcu said that TRNC had always been important for Turkey, adding that education was one of the most important factors to further progress the relations between Turkey and TRNC. Cubukcu said that Turkey's support to TRNC in the education area would continue. She said that education was a sine qua non for development, progress and democratization of a country. Cubukcu added that after ODTU (Middle East Technical University in Ankara), ITU (Istanbul Technical University) would open a campus in TRNC too.

    [06] Reports say that Turkey looks positively at the election of Ertugruloglu to the post of the chairman of the UBP in the place of Eroglu and that Talat seems to have completed his mission for Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (08.02.10) reports that the visit of the MP with the National Unity Party (UBP), Tahsin Ertugruloglu, to Ankara and his meeting with Prime Minister Erdogan on the day when the candidature of Dervis Eroglu for the presidential elections was announced gives the message that new developments might be expected in the UBP. The paper reports that the issue of whether or not Mr Ertugruloglu has informed the chairman of his party, Dervis Eroglu, regarding his meeting with Mr Erdogan is being discussed. Replying to questions in London, Eroglu said he did not even want to think who would become prime minister after himself, if he wins the elections in April. According to the paper, eyes have been turned towards the UBP because Mr Eroglu did not answer the questions put to him on the issue of whether he met with Mr Ertugruloglu. The paper reports that the main issue in the Turkish Cypriot political agenda is whether or not Mr Eroglu called Mr Ertugruloglu to his office and asked information from him regarding his meeting with Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish State Minister Cemil Cicek and whether or not he received this information.

    Meanwhile writing in Star Kibris (08.02.10), Umit Bahsi argues that everybody thinks that Mr Eroglu will definitely be the winner of the elections in April and alleges that it is clear that Turkey looks positively at the election of Mr Ertugruloglu to the post of the chairman of the UBP in the place of Mr Eroglu, after the latter wins the presidential elections.

    Mr Bahsi writes, inter alia, the following: It is a correct move made for the sake of the UBP coming to power as a party and of wanting to change the balance of power. Because esteemed Talat seems to have completed his mission for Turkey and nobody says it. Therefore, the new balance which will be established provides both the presidency and the prime ministry.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] Serdar Denktas says the DP will not support Eroglu in the elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Demokrat Bakis newspaper (08.02.10) reports that Serdar Denktas, leader of the Democratic Party (DP) has said that his party will not support Dervis Eroglu in the elections on 18 April and argued that Eroglu insulted the DP and its supporters. In statements to Turkish Cihan news agency, Mr Denktas said: As a party which defends both the state and the sovereignty, we will not support Eroglu. Moreover, Mr Denktas claimed that the aim of the recent visit of the UN Secretary-General to Cyprus was to send the message that Mr Mehmet Ali Talat should be supported in the elections.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Turkish Cypriot associations in Germany will launch a campaign for gathering fifty thousand signatures to be conveyed to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (08.02.10) reports that the Initiative of the Turkish Associations in Germany has condemned the so-called embargoes implemented on the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Addressing a meeting in the city of Werl, Dr. Kandemir Ozdemir, self-styled honorary consul of the regime, has alleged that peace in Cyprus came in 1974 and that the Turkish army brought peace to the island. He accused the EU of not keeping the promises it gave to the Turkish Cypriots. He claimed that the two communities in the island cannot be united.

    Moreover, a joint statement was made by the 338 associations which condemned the embargoes and the demand regarding the withdrawal of the Turkish occupation army from the island as well as the return of the occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal owners.

    The representatives of the associations said they will launch a campaign for gathering 50 thousand signatures in April and they will convey these signatures to the German Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Yeni Volkan alleges that the occupied closed city Varosha will soon be returned to its legal Greek Cypriot owners

    Under the title Terrifying allegation on the issue of closed Varosha, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Volkan newspaper (08.02.10) reports that according to reliable sources, some Greek Cypriots, who were ready to apply to the so-called Property Compensation Commission in the occupied areas of Cyprus regarding their property in the occupied closed city of Varosha, were discouraged from doing so. The paper reports that when the Greek Cypriots from Varosha wanted to file an application to the commission, they were told the following: Do not apply in vain. Varosha will be returned to the Greek Cypriots soon.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Huge investment in occupied Galateia village by a Turkish Cypriot who lived in the UK

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (06.02.10) reports that Akil Bilgili, an elder Turkish Cypriot businessman from occupied Galateia village, who lived in London for many years, is getting ready to make a big investment in Galateia.

    According to the paper, Mr Bilgili, who returned to the occupied areas of Cyprus after his retirement from the UK, will invest 3 million Turkish Lira to a project name Galateia Tourism Heaven for Elders. The foundation stone ceremony will take place in the end of the month.

    The paper further writes that the Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA) supports the project and adds that the Galateia Tourism Heaven for Elders will be built on an 11-donum [TR. Note: land measure of a 1000 square meters] building plot and have the capacity of 300 persons. The paper also writes that medical services will be provided to the persons who will live in the Galateia Tourism Heaven for Elders.

    (CS)

    [11] The chairman of the illegal DAU chairs the Think-Tank Forum of the Islamic Countries

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.02.10) reports that the Strategic Research Centre of the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) established in occupied Cyprus has participated in the Think-Tank Forum of the Islamic Countries which was held in Istanbul, Turkey. The so-called chairman of DAU, Hakki Atun, has chaired the forum and addressed the session on the Cyprus problem. Member countries of the Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC), as well as think-tank organizations have participated in the forum which was held to mark the 40th anniversary from the establishment of the OIC.

    (ML)

    [12] Davutoglus intensive diplomacy traffic in Munich

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.10) reported the following from Munich:

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the process for the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia was a visionary process that had been thought through in detail.

    Attending the 46th Munich Security Conference Davutoglu issued a statement to Turkish journalists as part of the conference saying: The process for the normalization of relations between Turkey and Armenia is a visionary process that has been thought through in detail. This vision is a process that not only aims to normalize Turkish-Armenian relations, but also to fix Turkish-Armenian business relations and bring peace and prosperity to the Caucasus.

    Stating that this process was bound to have its ups and downs and some hardships Davutoglu noted:

    We knew it would be like this when we started out. Our thoughts, worries and concerns on this matter are also clear. We are discussing frankly with all parties the situation that resulted from the Armenian Constitutional Court's ruling. Within this context, we hope that this process will work in accordance with the vision that we had at the very beginning and in the spirit of this vision, and that in the end a new peace and stability will be built in our region in which all the peoples of the region, the Azeris and Azerbaijan can benefit from. Our work to this end will never cease. We are committed to conducting this process in accordance with the principles set out at the beginning so that our work will not stop.

    Touching also on Turkey's role as mediator between Israel and Syria, Davutoglu said: Whenever Syria and Israel are ready and feel the need for Turkey's contribution, Turkey will not shy from making every contribution and effort. We are going to follow closely every development in this context and take the necessary steps.

    Davutoglu noted that the Munich Security Conference was an important platform for dialogue because of the senior level participants. He continued: The talks we are holding within the scope of the Munich Security Conference and the matters being discussed here are important in terms of timing. Turkey is a country that has very fine opinions within the Middle East. We voice these opinions at every platform. We are going to voice them here, too, and present them to the public.

    Davutoglu touched on bilateral meetings in Munich stating that he had held a most comprehensive meeting with Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev. He said they had discussed the outcome of the tripartite summit held in Sochi between Aliyev, Russia's Head of State Dmitry Medvedev and Armenia's President Serj Sarkisyan, as well as regional developments, the latest situation regarding Nagorno Karabakh and Turkish-Armenian relations. He stated that he and Switzerland's Foreign Minister Micheline Calmy-Rey, who is playing an important role in the normalizing of relations with Armenia, discussed the normalization process and Turkey's opinions on this matter. Davutoglu said he had also had similar talks with US Assistant Secretary of State James B Steinberg. Davutoglu said: He was actually in Yerevan. He told me his impressions and I told him ours. We also talked about the recent developments in the US House of Representatives and the Armenian bill. We discussed the situation in the Caucasus and the Balkans.

    Davutoglu said he also spoke with the foreign minister of Slovenia, which is dealing closely with Bosnia-Herzegovina for the EU process, and he added that he had also discussed bilateral relations and other international matters with Sweden's Foreign Minister Carl Bildt and US President Barack Obama's National Security Advisor James B. Jones. Davutoglu noted that he and Jones had discussed joint security issues, Iran's nuclear program and the Middle East problem.

    Stating that he had spoken with Iran's Foreign Minister Manuchehr Mottaki in Ankara and that they had found the opportunity to continue those talks in Munich, Davutoglu said they had discussed Iran's nuclear dossier, bilateral relations and the Middle East problem in depth.

    Recalling that he had spoken with Serbia's foreign minister and that together with the foreign minister of Bosnia-Herzegovina they were going to hold a tripartite summit in Ankara on Tuesday, Davutoglu said: This is going to be the fifth one of the meetings we had planned to hold every month. We are going to discuss what steps we can take to ensure stability in the Balkans.

    Davutoglu also spoke with IAEA President Yukiya Amani, NATO General Secretary Fogh Rasmussen and EU Term President Spain's Foreign Minister Miguel Moratinos. He said that he was going to speak with the United States Special Envoy for Afghanistan and Pakistan Richard Holbrooke after addressing the panel for Security and Stability in the Middle East. Davutoglu said he and Holbrooke were going to discuss what Turkey could do in Afghanistan adding that he was then going to meet with France's Minister of Foreign Affairs Bernard Kouchner.

    Furthermore, co-Chairman of the Greens Party Cem Ozdemir, also at the Munich Security Conference, spoke with Israel's Deputy Foreign Minister Daniel Ayalon, who was going to address the same panel after Minister Davutoglu. Speaking afterwards to Anatolia, Ozdemir said only that they had discussed the Middle East problem.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said a new vision was needed for the Middle East. Addressing the panel on "Security and Stability in the Middle East" at the 46th Munich Security Conference, Minister Davutoglu said it was necessary to establish peace and stability in the Middle East noting, We need a new vision in the Middle East. Davutoglu said that the Middle East's image needed to be changed and that because of its history and cultural past the region did not deserve the bad image it has today. He stressed the need for the establishment of mutual respect in the region and for the area to no longer be burden for the community of states but a benefit.

    Stating that there was a need for a reactive policy in the Middle East and that crises should not be allowed to be forgotten, Davutoglu said, A Palestinian child has the same value as an Israeli child. Davutoglu said that the borders in the region needed to be recognized and that for this to happen their locations needed to be known. He said he was in favour of a Palestinian state being formed in the Middle East and that the state of Israel also needed to exist in safety within secure borders. Noting that they were criticizing the attack on the Gaza Strip in this regard, Davutoglu said they did not want Israel or any other country to possess nuclear weapons, and that they were working to reduce the number of nuclear weapons in the world or even abolish them altogether.

    [13] Turkeys Erdogan met with the US Defence Secretary in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (05.02.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish prime minister urged the top U.S. defence official to speed up the delivery of military equipment that Ankara asked for from Washington to fight terrorists, diplomatic sources said on Friday. Recep Tayyip Erdogan and U.S. Defence Secretary Robert Gates met in the Turkish capital, Ankara.

    Sources close to the meeting said Erdogan and Gates had agreed that the U.S. takes concrete steps in sending the military equipment that Turkey had asked for in Ankara's fight against terrorism. Sources said Erdogan and Gates discussed issues regarding Afghanistan, Iran, Israel, Syria and Iraq as well.

    Sources cited Gates as telling the Turkish premier that the U.S. attached great importance to Turkey's role in Afghanistan and that Turkey was the most important defender of peace in the region. Erdogan and Gates also agreed that Turkey would play a more effective role in the training of Afghan police and military, and send more trainer troops to the country.

    Meanwhile, Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.02.10) reported the following:

    Turkish National Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul said on Saturday that defence relations between Turkey and the United States had priority. Speaking before the visit, Gonul said cooperation between Turkey and the United States particularly in the cold war period and after the cold war period served not only to the welfare of the two countries but also to the world peace.

    Gates said it was pleasing to visit Ankara again to take up comprehensive matters between the two ally countries and noted that Turkish and U.S. troops, being allies, fought and worked together side by side. He said the same situation was in question again in Afghanistan this time. Turkey, being one of our leading allies, assumes an extremely important role in Afghanistan, he noted.

    [14] Gul to be the first Turkish President in 15 years to visit India

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.02.10) reported the following from Istanbul:

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul said on Sunday that Turkey's economic cooperation with India had a huge potential. Turkish companies and businesspeople may launch joint enterprises. They may invest in India and both countries may launch joint investments in third countries, President Gul told a news conference prior to his departure for India.

    Gul said this was an important visit as it was the first of its kind from Turkey to India in presidency level after 15 years. Gul said India ranked the second biggest country of the world with respect to population and third biggest country with respect to gross national product. Although India is the third biggest economy of the world, it is at the same time a developing country. It is the best in the world in information technology and in computer software. However, it is a developing country when its population is taken into consideration. I am talking about this because 600 billion USD infrastructure investments will be made to India in the medium term. It has a very big infrastructure deficiency. It is very important for Turkey that we visit this country with a very crowded delegation of businesspeople. Turkish companies and businesspeople may launch joint works with their Indian counterparts and make investments in India, Gul said.

    Gul said he would meet with Indian President Pratibha Patil as well as Vice President Hamid Ansari, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, Foreign Minister Somanahalli Mallaiah Krishna, Ruling Party (Congress) chairman Sonia Gandhi and Main Opposition Party (BJP) chairman Swaraj during the visit. Gul noted he would join the Turkish-Indian businesspeople forum and inaugurate Turkey's Consulate General in Mumbai. He said he would also be decorated with honorary doctorate by Amity University in New Delhi.

    Gul said he would also pay a formal visit to Bangladesh between February 12 and 14 following his meetings in India. Gul said he would meet Bangladesh's President Mohammad Zillur Rahman, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina Wajed, Foreign Minister Dipu Moni, Finance Minister Abu Maal Abdul Muhith and have meetings with the representatives of business world within the scope of Turkey-Bangladesh Business Forum during his two-day visit. Turkish President said he would also attend a ceremony where University of Dhaka will confer honorary doctorate on him.

    He said efforts would be underway to seek for ways to boost cooperation mainly on economic and commercial relations. Gul said his visits to India and Bangladesh would deepen ties.

    [15] Highlights of 2009 Media Monitoring Report in Turkey

    Istanbul Bianet News Centre (04.02.10) reported the following:

    At least 9 newspapers were banned based on the Anti-Terror Act, 23 people were sentenced to 58 years imprisonment and fines summing up to 9,740 TL; 101 people were convicted of "attacks on personal rights", received prison sentence of 98 years in total and were sued for compensation claims of 1,408,680 TL. Journalist Cihan Hayirsevener was killed due to the state's indifference to violence.

    The process of the Kurdish initiative imposed a muzzle to freedom of expression. The 2009 Media Monitoring Report by the Independent Communication Network (BIA) Media Monitoring Desk revealed that 323 people, among them 123 journalists, were tried in the context of freedom of thought and freedom of expression.

    Three years after the murder of Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, the state's indifference to violence against journalists led to the death of Guney Marmara Yasam newspaper editor-in-chief Cihan Hayirsevener. Hayirsevener was writing about organized crime and corruption in tenders.

    The Anti-Terror Act (TMY), which was not accounted for as in contrary to the Constitution by the Constitutional Court, silenced nine newspapers and magazines: Gunluk, Ozgur Yorum, Politika, Ayrinti, Azadiya Welat, Ozgur Mezopotamya, Demokratik Acilim and Atilim newspapers and Aydinlik magazine. One-month publication bans were imposed once or in some cases more than once.

    The report tackles the struggles and cases of 978 people. Violations of freedom of expression are divided into the following sections: Attacks and Threats, Detentions and Arrests, Cases on Press Freedom and Freedom of Expression, Corrections and Seeking Justice, European Court of Human Rights, Reactions to Censorship and Punishments by RTUK.

    Subtitle: Heavy convictions in TMY and TCK cases

    47 people, 22 of them journalists, were prosecuted in 2009 under charges of publishing pronouncements of terror organizations, spreading propaganda for an illegal organization or revealing people struggling against terrorism as targets. 23 people were sentenced to 58 years imprisonment and monetary fines of 9,749 Turkish Lira (TL). However, this is a small number compared to 44 convicts and thus twice as many convictions under the TMY in 2008.

    The convicts: Baki Yildirim, Cesur Yilmaz, Huseyin Tunc, Orhan Miroglu, Murat Polat, Aysel Tugluk, Mehmet Altay, Ethem Acikalin, Temel Demirer, Dincer Ergun, Leyla Zana, Hasan Yuksel, Mehmet Bildircin, Hasan Mutlu, Halime Keceli, Ilhan Sarioglu, Emrah Eskibal, Ozkan Tacar, Rustu Demirkaya, Abdullah Demirtas, Osman Baydemir, Nejdet Atalay and Bedri Adanir.

    Subtitle: Increase in cases and punishments related to defamation

    34 journalists among 101 Turkish citizens were sentenced to 98 years and five days imprisonment and compensation claims summing up to TL 1,408,680 under charges of attacks on personal rights. Local courts in 2009 decreed for a total of nine years, three months and 6 days imprisonment and monetary fines of TL 41,290. In the previous year, 74 people received prison sentences of 77 years and faced compensation claims of TL 1,885,500.

    The defendants convicted at local courts were Perihan Magden, Cemal Subasi, Haci Bogatekin, Leman Yurtseven, Fakir Yilmaz, Selmi Yilmaz, Samil Tayyar, Sevda Turaclar, Betul Ozturk, juvenile O.K, Ahmet Keskin, Hasan Ozaydin, Berna Ozarslan, Ozgur Bogatekin, Dengir Mir Mehmet Firat, Mahmut Alinak, Muzaffer Erdogdu, Ahmet Guner and Taner Akcam.

    Subtitle: 16 years seven months imprisonment for "Incitement to hatred and hostility"

    21 people, six of them journalists, stood trial for "incitement to hatred and hostility"; 13 defendants were convicted, among them three journalists. They received a total of 16 years and seven months imprisonment.

    The names of the convicts are Aysel Tugluk, Ethem Acikalin, Tayyip Temel, Ercan Oksuz, Oktay Candemir, Mahmut Alinak, Ibrahim Guclu, Huseyin Kalkan, Fuat Onen, Arif Sevinc, Nadir Ye ktas, Eyup Karakeci and Mehmet Kemal Ugurlu. In 2008 on the other hand, seven defendants out of 23 were acquitted.

    Subtitle: Writer Demirer still defendant under article 301

    37 people were tried under article 301 of the Turkish Criminal Code (TCK) in 2009, six cases were dismissed by the Ministry of Justice. The trial of author Temel Demirer is still pending. Ten activists from Eskisehir and radio journalist Sabri Ejder Ozic were acquitted. The Ministry of Justice has still not decided whether to pursue or dismiss the prosecutions of another 20 people.

    The trials of 54 mayors of Democratic Society Party (DTP), which was closed down by the Constitutional Court in mid December, including four journalists, are pending under charges of praising criminals.

    Subtitle: State impassive to violence; Hayirsevener killed

    27 journalists and the Bizim Kocaeli newspaper were subjects of attacks in 2009. Ten people were threatened for their thoughts, among them six journalists.

    Violence was mainly directed at local journalists: Cihan Hayirsevener (Balikesir), Izzettin Oktay (Siirt), Omer Celik (Istanbul), Seyfullah Ayvali (Izmir), Haci Bogatekin (Adiyaman), Zeki Dara (Hakkari), Erhan Telli (Bursa), Diya Yarayan (Siirt), Yakup Onal (Tekirdag), Mansur Obut (Batman), Durmus Tuna (Aydin), Omer Pinar (Sanliurfa), Sedat Sahinler (Antalya), Firat Akyol (Giresun), Rasim Ozan Kutahyali (Istanbul), Ibrahim Gunduz (Ankara), Mahmut Bozarslan (Diyarbakir), Ozden Erkus (Ankara), Ediz Alic (Adana), Rengin Gultekin (Adana), Kadir Puslu (Adana), Meral Ozdemir (Diyarbakir), Mehmet Emek (Diyarbakir), Gamze Dondurmaci (Ankara), Dogan Durak (Ankara), Neset Oner (Bursa), Sukru Oner (Bursa) and Orhan Kaplan (Bursa).

    Subtitle: Five out of 25 detained journalists were released

    Devrimci Demokrasi newspaper owner and editor-in-chief Erdal Guler and former editor-in-chief of the Kurdish Azadiya Welat newspaper Vedat Kursun are in prison under charges of publishing praise for organisations such as the militant Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) or the Maoist Communist Party (MKP).

    Prison sentences were handed to at least 23 people arrested for activities related to their profession, the actual number in this respect is estimated even higher. Abdurrahman Gok, Serhat Bolluk, Nadiye Gurbuz, Mehmet Ali Varis and Vedat Yenerer were tried un-detained and released throughout the year.

    Journalists like Mustafa Balbay and Emcet Olcayto are still in prison in context of the Ergenekon case. Gun TV official Ahmet Birsin, Adana Radyo Dunya broadcasting director Kenan Karavil and Seyithan Akyuz from Azadiya Welat newspaper were taken into detention in the scope of an operation regarding the Union of Kurdistan Societies (KCK), the umbrella organization of the PKK.

    Istanbul Ozgur Radio broadcasting director Fusun Erdogan, Atilim magazine publishing co-ordinator Ibrahim Cicek and magazine official Sedat Senoglu are in detention since 2006 on the grounds of alleged membership of the illegal Marxist Leninist Communist Party (MLKP) organization.

    Subtitle: Penalties of ECHR more than doubled

    The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) convicted Turkey to a total fine of TL 472,392 in compensation. In the previous year, this amount added up to TL 183,801. 11,100 complaint files concerned with Turkey are currently waiting to be dealt with at the ECHR.

    26 employees of Ulkede Ozgur Gundem, Gundem, Guncel ve Gercek Demokrasi newspapers sought their rights at the ECHR together with Seyithan Demir, Ismail Kara, Omer Bahceci, Fikret Turan, Cihan Ozturk, Aziz Ozer, Ibrahim Guclu, Sedat Imza, Ayhan Erdogan, Mehmet Cevher Ilhan, Ruya Kurtulus, Erdinc Gok, Hasim Ozgur Ersoy, Inci Acik, Serpil Ocak, Ayfer Cicek, Nuri Gunay and Murat Kaya.

    The following new applications were made to the ECHR in 2009: the Hrant Dink murder, publication bans imposed to Ozgur Mezopotamya, Ozgur Gorus, Rojev, Siyasi Alternatif and Surec newspapers, Internet Technology Association (INETD) in regard to the ban of youtube.com, Birecik'in Sesi newspaper official Sevket Demir, Siirt Mucadele newspaper owner Cumhur Kiliccioglu, Cumhuriyet newspaper journalist Alper Turgut, Cevat Dusun from Alternatif newspaper, Vakit newspaper writer Abdurrahman Dilipak and Taraf newspaper journalist Orhan Miroglu.

    Furthermore, under the title Thousands of journalists probed over reports covering Ergenekon, Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (08.02.10) reports the following:

    Turkey has recently seen a record number of court cases filed against journalists, particularly against those who are covering the trials of suspected members of Ergenekon, a clandestine gang charged with plotting to overthrow the government, according Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin.

    Speaking to representatives of various media outlets on Thursday at Istanbul Universitys Baltalimani Social Facilities, Ergin said a large number of cases have been filed against reporters covering Ergenekon, particularly on charges of violating the confidentiality of the investigation and the judicial process. He said his ministry was focusing on finding the optimum balance between press freedom and regulations that protect the confidentiality of judicial processes and the privacy of suspects. He said that so far, 4,139 probes have been filed into journalists over Ergenekon, noting that 17 journalists have been convicted by various courts.

    Justice Minister Ergin said: From the start of the Ergenekon process until October 21, 2009, the highest number of legal actions taken against journalists was related to Turkish Penal Code (TCK) Article 285, which criminalizes endangering the confidentiality of an investigation. A total of 4,139 processes were launched in this period; 1,739 of those were dismissed, 574 are still being investigated, 561 were declared outside the scope of jurisdiction of the authority applied to and charges were filed against 1,265. So far, 17 journalists have been convicted, 122 were acquitted, 317 of these cases were dismissed while 203 of those filed were ruled out of the courts jurisdiction.

    EG/


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