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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-03-09

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. 45/10 09.03.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Talat stated that ECHRs decision sheds light on how the property issue can be solved during the solution process
  • [02] Davutoglu described ECHRs ruling as a diplomatic success. He discussed the course of the Cyprus talks with Downer
  • [03] How Turkish Cypriot politicians evaluated the ruling of ECHR over the Immovable Property Commission
  • [04] The meeting in Istanbul between Tahsin Ertugruloglu and Abdullah Gul was cancelled
  • [05] Eroglu is visiting Ankara
  • [06] DP and ORP will reportedly be unified prior to the illegal presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [07] Almost half of the women in Turkey face physical and sexual violence at home
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] Fight over the land: Ankara gave a kiss of life to Talat and Strasbourg gave a kiss of life to Ankara
  • [09] Columnist in a Turkish daily assesses the legal and political consequences of the ECHR decision of the property issue
  • [10] From the Turkish Press of 8 March 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Talat stated that ECHRs decision sheds light on how the property issue will be solved during the solution process

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (09.03.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, evaluated the latest decision of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) as regards the recognition of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) set up by Turkey in the occupied areas of Cyprus as a effective domestic remedy, and said that it brought an opening on the property issue which has created a deadlock in the Cyprus negotiations.

    Mr Talat made these statements yesterday, speaking at The position of the women at north Cyprus and the world conference, organized by the KAMU-SEN Trade Union.

    Mr Talat stated that the decision of the ECHR sheds light on how the property issue will be solved during the solution process and added that the decision has confirmed what he and the Turkish side says on the property issue.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader went on and added that the decision of the ECHR is not a victory, but is one of the decisions that can open the road for the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (CS)

    [02] Davutoglu described ECHRs ruling as a diplomatic success. He discussed the course of the Cyprus talks with Downer

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (09.03.10), in its front page under the title A message from Ankara, reports that the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said that the forthcoming elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus is an issue regarding the democratic mechanisms which allegedly exist there. He also claimed that the occupation regime has passed successfully many democratic tests.

    Mr Davutoglu made the above statement yesterday at a joint press conference after the meeting with his Mauritanian counterpart Naha Mint Mouknass in Ankara. Referring to the elections in the occupied areas, Mr Davutoglu said: Beyond the personalities, the identities of the candidates, the important thing is for the entire world to witness this democracy which is established and became tradition in the TRNC. This is our expectation.

    Commenting on the ECHRs ruling regarding the property commission in the occupied areas, Mr Davutoglu described it as historic decision and as a diplomatic success. He noted that this ruling is a very important development in the context of the Cyprus settlement. Mr. Davutoglu said that this issue was not realized in Turkey because of the decision taken at the US House of Representatives on the Armenian issue.

    Mr Davutoglu said also that he met with the UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer and that they discussed the course of the Cyprus negotiations. Moreover he noted that they attach great importance to the progress of the negotiation process on the island so that the ground for a strong and comprehensive peace is prepared, independently of the political developments in the two sides. Mr Davutoglu said that he conveyed this view to Mr Downer and added that he sees useful the continuation of the negotiations with an increased momentum.

    The paper reports that no statement was made after the meeting of Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with the UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer yesterday in Ankara.

    (DPs)

    [03] How Turkish Cypriot politicians evaluated the ruling of ECHR over the Immovable Property Commission

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (09.03.10) publishes statements made by Turkish Cypriots politicians who evaluate the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) over the Immovable Property Commission set up by Turkey in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The so-called deputy of the National Unity Party (UBP), Zorlu Tore, has described ECHRs ruling as an important step which was taken within the framework of the recognition of the Immovable Property Commission, yet, it is necessary for the problem to be solved with global exchange and compensation. If this problem is not solved through compensations, it could create a significant deadlock in the commission, Mr. Tore said. Mr. Tore expressed also the view that a similar committee which will deal with Turkish Cypriot properties should be established.

    On his part, the so-called deputy of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Sonay Adem said that ECHRs ruling is the outcome of the stable and correct policy followed by the Turkish Cypriot side and its leader, Mehmet Ali Talat. He finally added that ECHRs ruling is a decision which will contribute to the solution of the Cyprus problem in 2010.

    The so-called deputy of the Democratic Party (DP), Ejder Aslanbaba, said that the ruling will relieve the construction sector and the economy of the illegal regime and added that with this decision an apology was asked by Turkey and the TRNC.

    On his part, the so-called deputy of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), Mustafa Gokmen, described the ruling as evidence that the TRNC is based on legal principles and added that significant achievements can be accomplished by following a correct and stable policy.

    Finally, the leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), Mehmet Caciki said that ECHRs ruling should not be considered as victory. He said that the decision cannot take the place of the solution and that it is only gaining some time during the procedure of the lawsuits.

    (ML)

    [04] The meeting in Istanbul between Tahsin Ertugruloglu and Abdullah Gul was cancelled

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (09.03.10) reports that the meeting in Istanbul which was to be held yesterday between the so called deputy of National Unity Party (UBP), Tahsin Ertugruloglu and the Turkish President Abdullah Gul was cancelled.

    According to information acquired from reliable sources, Mr. Ertugruloglu held other meetings in Istanbul over which he expressed his satisfaction. As the paper writes, Tahsin Ertugruloglu was expected to announce his candidature for the so called presidential elections today.

    (ML)

    [05] Eroglu is visiting Ankara

    Illegal Bayrak television (08.03.10) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu will be flying to Istanbul today for a series of contacts. The Premier who will leave the Republic this evening will come together with members of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association, the TUSIAD, tomorrow. As part of his contacts, Mr Eroglu will also deliver a speech, titled the Negotiations Process and Latest Developments in Cyprus at the Istanbul Aydin University. Mr Eroglu will return to the Republic tomorrow evening.

    [06] DP and ORP will reportedly be unified prior to the illegal presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Under the title, DP and ORP are being unified, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (09.03.10) reports that the Democratic Party (DP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) are planning to be unified in the very near future in order to develop a formula to move together in the forthcoming so-called presidential elections of April 18 in the occupied areas of Cyprus. According to information acquired by the newspaper, the proposal was first made by the DP leader, Serdar Denktas, to the ORP leader, Turgay Avci. As it was said, Mr Denktas is very insistent on the issue. However, on his part, Mr Avci is cautious and wonders how Ankara will react to this merger. According to the paper, the only disagreement between the two parties lays on the candidate whom the party will support in the upcoming illegal elections.

    (EA)

    [07] Almost half of the women in Turkey face physical and sexual violence at home

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.03.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    The United Nations (UN) Representation in Turkey announced on Monday that almost half of women in Turkey faced physical and sexual violence from their husbands.

    The representation released a statement on the March 8 International Women's Day and said 42 percent of women in Turkey were facing physical and sexual violence from their husbands.

    'There are only 52 shelters for women despite 35 million women population in the country, ' the statement said.

    The statement said women were still facing serious problems in labor force due to negative prejudices stemming from social and economic obstacles, and women in Turkey had lower wages than men and were being employed in low-quality jobs without any guarantee.

    According to UN Representation's figures, the rate of men's participation in labor force was 70.5 percent, while the rate of women's participation in labor force was 26 percent in 2009. This figure was below the global rate of 52.6 percent.

    Around 70 percent of women living in rural areas were working as 'cost free laborers' in family businesses, and 59 percent of women employees did not have any social security according to figures of 2009.

    The UN representation said the number of women parliamentarians increased by two-folds in 2007 and reached 9.1 percent, however this figure was too low in local administrations.

    Only 0.9 percent of mayors in Turkey are women (27 of 2,948 mayors). 3.2 percent of provincial assemblies are comprised of women (110 of 3,379 members), and women constitute only 4.2 percent of municipal assemblies (1,340 of 31,790 members).

    Turkey is ranked the 101th among 109 countries according to the gender empowerment measure (GEM). This means that Turkey is only ahead of Tonga, Iran, Morocco, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bangladesh and Yemen.

    The UN also said illiteracy among women in Turkey was over 9 percent, and the most important obstacle before girls' education was lack of classrooms.

    In the statement, the UN representation said that women should participate more in decision-making mechanisms, violence against women should be prevented and sexual-based negative cliches should be eliminated in order to ensure gender equality.

    The statement said the UN was appreciating and supporting Turkey's steps to improve women's rights.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] Fight over the land: Ankara gave a kiss of life to Talat and Strasbourg gave a kiss of life to Ankara

    Under the above title Murat Yalniz writes the following in Turkiye Newsweek weekly magazine (14.03.10, issue 72):

    Two dominoes which will force the Greek Cypriot Sector for a solution in the negotiations in Cyprus tumbled last week the one after the other. First Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated that they will withdraw troops from the island in case an agreement is secured in Cyprus. The fact that perhaps the most critical issue of dispute is voiced in this manner by such a high ranking official is important. Moreover, Erdogan said it in statements to the Greek Cypriot press. That is, he targeted at a point which could influence directly the Greek Cypriot public opinion in the negotiating process. Two days after that, the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) showed the Immovable Property Commission (TMK) in the TRNC as the address for eight pilot cases, which have been filed by Greek Cypriots and will determine the fate of the property lawsuits, and ruled that the commission is an effective local remedy. Approximately more than 1000 cases will fall from the agenda of the ECHR and be directed towards the TMK.

    Erdogans statement has the character of a kiss of life to President Mehmet Ali Talat who is having a hard time before the presidential elections to be held in the TRNC on 18 April. Because Talat, who in the elections will compete with Dervis Eroglu whom Ankara does not consider as so much supporter of the solution, is behind at the time being. According to a survey conducted by KADEM research company which talked with nearly 1800 Turkish Cypriots, Dervis Eroglu is 5,8 points ahead of Mehmet Ali Talat. Eroglus vote percentage is 52,9% and Talats 47,1%. Talat is counting on entering into the elections with concrete results which will be taken in the negotiations. The Greek Cypriot side which realizes this, is pressing Talat to give more concessions on the table.

    The point to which the political and legal debates have reached is humanitarian. The TRNC distributed or sold to Cypriots or Turks coming from Turkey the properties which were left by the Greek Cypriots in the north after the 1974 Cyprus Operation. With the commencement of the negotiations, the future of thousands of people became uncertain. Actually Talat was summarizing very well the complicatedness of the situation when he complained as following: We will not make our citizens an issue of bargain. Where could so many people go after living here for 35 years and having no more ties with Turkey? If there is someone very clever, let him tell me this. The existence of these people will continue, but the territory they have settled is a different issue.

    The decision of the ECHR in Frances city of Strasbourg is a kiss of life coming from Europe for Talat as it is for Ankara (especially during the days when it thinks that it received a goal on the Armenian issue). The Greek Cypriots, who do not recognize the TRNC, have been filing lawsuits against Turkey at the ECHR. The justification was that northern Cyprus is under Turkeys active and effective control. The decision of the ECHR, which could mean indirect recognition of the TRNC because it confirmed the legal system which functions in Northern Cyprus, will make Turkey feel relieved regarding the lawsuits on this issue which could cost billions of Euro. However, this is a relief in the political sense, not in the financial. Eventually, the majority of the property files at the TMK are concluded with decisions for compensation. As the member of the teaching staff of the International Relations Faculty of the Near East University, Ali Dayioglu said, even if the Finance Ministry of the TRNC seems to pay the compensations, the money comes directly out of Turkeys pocket.

    The number of the applications made to the TMK since 2006 is 455. Ninety four of these have ended with compromise and four through the court. The total compensation paid was 40,062,100 pound sterling (44,406,366 Euro, 90,408,792 Turkish Liras). It is possible for the applications to the TMK to increase after the ECHRs decision. Furthermore, the door of the ECHR has not been completely closed for the Greek Cypriots, as it was said to the public opinion. The editor of Ankara Bar Association Magazines Special Issue for Cyprus and lawyer Murat Sumer says: The ECHR accepted the TMK as a local remedy and ruled that applications should be made there. For those Greek Cypriots who could not get a result the road to the ECHR is open again. That is, the decision will gain time for Turkey, which has not a very good image in front of the ECHR as one of the countries against which the most lawsuits have been filed.

    During a meeting we had some time ago, Talat said that in the negotiations they made the least progress on the property issue which is the most difficult chapter. The ECHRs decision has strengthened a lot Talat at the table before the elections. The Greek Cypriot side is in the position of determining a new policy at least on this issue, because due to the ECHR procedures and its multimember structure, they had calculated that the decision regarding the eight pilot cases would not have been issued before the summer. Consequently they are astonished. Sumer says: Even if the ECHR seems to be a legal organ, it is actually an organ which takes political decisions by taking into account the situation. It is obvious that they wanted to pave the way for the negotiations which are facing difficulties. That is, the ECHR helped the negotiations, even if it did it indirectly, because if the presidency of Talat is taken by Eroglu, who says if the stance of the Greek Cypriots does not change, the negotiations will continue for another 100 years, neither Ankaras interests nor Europes interests will be served. Because no one endures to listen about the Cyprus problem not for another 100 years, but even for another ten years.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Columnist in a Turkish daily assesses the legal and political consequences of the ECHR decision on the property issue

    Hurriyet Daily News.com (08.03.10) publishes the following commentary by Riza Turkmen under the title Pleased with Cyprus:

    Rage born with the approval of the Genocide Bill in the United States has cast a shadow over the critical acquisitions we have gained through the European Court of Human Rights decision on the Cyprus question.

    The European court decision dated March 5 in the Demopoulos vs. Turkey case has brought this issue to a brand-new state. Greek Cypriots who moved from the north of the island to the south following the peace operation in 1974 resorted to the European court for their immovable properties in the north. There are nearly 1,550 cases against Turkey. In order for the court to take these cases, parties have to try internal legal channels first.

    As a domestic remedy in accordance with the European court and northern Cyprus set up an Immovable Property Commission, or IPC, to compensate the damages of Cypriot Greeks. The court selected eight pilot cases in order to decide whether the IPC was an effective, appropriate judicial system. The Grand Chamber announced that the commission is effective enough and overruled to take eight cases.

    Since these eight pilot cases are legal cases, they will also determine the fate of the 1,550 cases as well. From now on, if claimants claim compensation for their immovable properties in the north, they have to apply to the IPC. If they dont, as stated in the decision, they can wait for a final solution to be found in the Cyprus conflict.

    Applicants and the Greek Cypriot Administration asserted that since northern Cyprus is not recognized in the international arena, the IPC cannot be legally binding and therefore such legal channel legitimizes the occupation of the island. The European court rejected these claims and reached a conclusion that the IPC is an independent, impartial and legitimate legal body.

    The court rules that if there is an effective domestic way to settle similar issues, they should be tried first. The European court has left the judgment to see if compensation or the return of property is needed to the IPC, stating that they cannot impose a solution to force people to move out from properties.

    Subtitle: Critical legal and political consequences

    Legally speaking, Turkey, from now on, will not pay enormous amount of compensation to the European court. Cypriot Greeks are paid compensations as long as they resort to the IPC, but there are two differences.

    The first is the amount of compensation. The amount from now on will be decided by way of conciliation between the parties.

    The second is that applicants still have the ownership rights of their properties in the European court decisions if Turkey is found guilty. Since the ownership right is still protected, the applicant can resort in the future and claim rights. But, in the IPC decisions, the ownership right ends after compensation is paid.

    Another critical point in this decision is the European courts recognition of a legal body set up by northern Cyprus. That doesnt mean the court recognizes northern Cyprus. Still, this is a critical step showing that a legal decision by northern Cyprus is considered valid in the international arena.

    The Demopoulos decision will make positive contributions to the solution of the Cyprus issue. One of the toughest areas of discussions in settlement talks is the property issue. With this decision, a way has been found how this particular issue can be resolved. The European court ruling is binding. States have to abide by the decision.

    Besides, the decision put an end to recommendations such as the return of land to Cypriot Greeks in some cases to set aside the property problem as envisaged in the Annan Plan. The Demopoulos verdict is the product of long years of a legal fight.

    Turkish public opinion should see this significant achievement in the Cyprus issue, rather than the negative development in the Armenian issue.

    [10] From the Turkish Press of 8 March 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 8 March 2010:

    Armenian Bill/Turkish-US Ties

    "Is US foreign policy in the hands of amateurs?" is the title of an article by Semih Idiz in Milliyet. Viewing the process which led to the adoption of the Armenian bill by the US House Committee, Idiz refers to an article by Laura Rozen which appeared in the Washington magazine Politico. Idiz explains that contrary to the general impression in Turkey, Committee Chairman "Howard Berman was not entirely to blame for the resolution because he had sent indirect messages to President Obama a month before so that the Administration could intervene." Despite this message, no moves were made by the Administration or by the State Department, Idiz says, adding: "In other words, either the Obama administration did not receive the messages, or it deliberately preferred to ignore them." The columnist infers from this that Washington tried to pressure Turkey into signing the protocols with Armenia. He adds: "According to one of our high-level diplomats, this shows that US foreign policy is now in the hands of amateurs. This is also in line with the accusation Foreign Minister Davutoglu leveled at the United States, saying it lacks vision.

    In a commentary in Milliyet, Taha Akyol argues that contrary to what certain circles are saying, it would indeed be a big deal if the US House of Representatives declared the incidents of 1915 a "genocide." After listing the serious repercussions that would trigger, Akyol suggests that the only way to put a stop to this recurring crisis is for Turkey to normalize its relations with Armenia, thus "dampening the dynamite that lies under the term 'genocide.'"

    In an article in Hurriyet, Fatih Cekirge argues that the public wants the Turkish Assembly to respond to the Armenian bill "torture" which occurs every 24 April. Referring to talkbacks to his column, the columnist says that as remedy, the people want the Turkish Assembly to decide on the status of Incirlik base in May every year, the Turkish Assembly to decide on Turkish Airlines' aircraft purchases, and the Turkish Assembly to decide on the Turkish army's peacekeeping role in Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    In an article entitled "The economic and political aspects of the genocide rhetoric" Yeni Safak columnist Yasin Aktay criticizes the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs for passing a resolution calling for the recognition of the 1915 events in Ottoman Turkey as genocide of the Armenians. He asserts that while Turkey might actually need to engage in some historical soul-searching regarding the 1915 events, it is neither appropriate nor useful for a country like the United States "whose own history is full of acts of massacre and war crimes" to remind Turkey of the necessity to face up to what happened in 1915. He also calls attention to the economic and political factors behind the accusations of genocide against Turkey, asserting that the US House decision could be read as a warning that Turkey's increasing foreign policy clout is not regarded with approval by all international players.

    In a commentary entitled "Let me be clear", Yeni Safak writer Ali Akel asserts that in calling President Gul to ask him to ratify the normalization protocols with Armenia while the US House Committee on Foreign Affairs was voting on the Armenian resolution, President Obama not only dealt a blow to the "good relations" between Turkey and the United States but also virtually destroyed the chances of the said protocols ever being signed. He goes on to claim that the Armenian diaspora would be serving both its own interests and those of Yerevan better if it concentrated its attention on Turkish-Armenian relations rather than on what it could get out of the US Congress. He also asserts that the dispute over the 1915 events is one that Ankara and Yerevan should try to solve between one another and that while third countries can make contributions to the resolution of the issue, the way to do it is not to adopt Armenian resolutions in their parliaments.

    Under the banner headline, "I pity the US," Vakit publishes a front-page report which highlights Prime Minister Erdogan's remarks at a ceremony in Sanliurfa yesterday saying that he can only "pity" the United States for the way it showed its readiness to "sacrifice Turkey for the sake of catering to the demands of the Armenian diaspora" in passing the Armenian resolution.

    In an article entitled "Strange Bedfellows in Washington", Today's Zaman columnist Omer Taspinar asserts that in "effectively putting an end to already weak hopes of reconciliation between Ankara and Yerevan," the results of the US House vote on the Armenian "genocide resolution" have created "two clear victors: the Armenian lobby and Azerbaijan."

    AK/EI


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