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

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. 46/10 10.03.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Eroglu met with TUSIAD in Istanbul. He reiterated the need for lifting the isolations and called on the EU and the UN to contribute to the solution
  • [02] Ercakica stated that the ECHRs decision to recognize the Immovable Property Commission is in full harmony with the Turkish Cypriot sides positions in the negotiations
  • [03] Former Turkish Ambassador described ECHRs ruling on the Immovable Property Commission as a pyrrhic victory
  • [04] Sozmener claims that there is a catch behind ECHRs ruling
  • [05] Cemil Cicek stated that the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus can occur after the solution of the Cyprus
  • [06] Talat, Eroglu, Ertugruloglu and Avci are still holding contacts in Turkey before the elections in the occupied areas
  • [07] The DP and the ORP are not being unified
  • [08] YODAK chairman attends European convention in Budapest
  • [09] The occupation regime is being represented at the ITB Berlin 2010 fair
  • [10] Erdogan stated that Turkey will not send its envoy back to US before seeing clear results
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [11] Columnist in Todays Zaman assesses the ECHR decision on the property issue as legally wrong but politically correct

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Eroglu met with TUSIAD in Istanbul. He reiterated the need for lifting the isolations and called on the EU and the UN to contribute to the solution

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.03.10) broadcast the following:

    Prime Minister Dervis Eroglu has said that the Turkish Cypriot sides hand at the negotiations table will be strengthened further with the economic development of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. Pointing to the importance of economic contributions made by Turkey and Turkish investors to the TRNC, he said 'as this support grows and the economy improves, our hand strengthens at the talks'.

    The Prime Minister was speaking at a press briefing after his meeting with members of the executive board of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmens Association (TUSIAD) in Istanbul.

    The Prime Minister said that the Greek Cypriot side will feel the need for a settlement once the unjust international isolation over the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is lifted.

    Complaining that the Greek Cypriot side has always rejected the texts of agreement on the Cyprus issue, Eroglu said the Greek Cypriot sides intransigency was encouraged further with its unilateral EU membership.

    He said that the Unions failure to keep the promises it made before the 2004 referenda has weakened the Turkish Cypriot peoples trust in the EU. The Premier underlined the need for the EU and the UN to take steps that could encourage the Greek Cypriot side towards a solution.

    Mr Eroglu went on saying that the Cyprus issue and Turkeys EU membership process should not be linked.

    Also speaking, TUSIAD President, Umit Boyner, expressed the view that the maintenance of peace process in Cyprus is important for Turkeys EU accession process and that the solution of the Cyprus problem is a must for a good economy in Cyprus as a whole.

    Moreover, Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.03.10) reported the following from Istanbul:

    The Turkish Cypriot prime minister said on Tuesday that Cyprus negotiations would continue after the presidential election in their country.

    Premier Dervis Eroglu of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) said Cyprus negotiations would continue after the presidential elections in TRNC due on April 18. 'Whoever becomes the president, s/he will continue negotiations aiming to reach an agreement, ' Eroglu told a conference at Istanbul's Aydin University.

    Eroglu said both parties in Cyprus should have the will in order to reach an agreement. 'It is not possible to reach an agreement in Cyprus unless we all agree that the Greek Cypriot administration is as much obliged for an agreement as we are, ' Eroglu said.

    Eroglu said parties should continue negotiations with good will, and if there was a will for an agreement, an agreement would be reached soon.

    The TRNC prime minister also said an agreement should be sought within the framework of two-state and two-nation principle.

    [02] Ercakica stated that the ECHRs decision to recognize the Immovable Property Commission is in full harmony with the Turkish Cypriot sides positions in the negotiations

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.03.10) broadcast the following:

    The Presidential Spokesperson has said that the European Court of Human Rights ruling recognizing the TRNC Immovable Property Commission as an effective domestic remedy was in full harmony with the Turkish sides positions in the negotiations. Hasan Ercakica said that the Greek Cypriot Administrations call to its citizens not to apply to the commission was an example of its contradictory stance in the talks.

    He said that this was proof that the Greek Cypriot side aimed to acquire political gains from this issue.

    Speaking to reporters at his weekly press briefing, Mr. Ercakica announced that special representatives of the two leaders will be meeting this Thursday and Friday to prepare the ground for next weeks meeting between their leaders.

    Reminding that next weeks meeting between President Mehmet Ali Talat and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias will focus mainly on the chapters of economy and EU matters, Ercakica explained that the two leaders, on some occasions, brought back the issue of governance and power sharing to the table.

    Touching upon the European Court of Human Rights ruling, he described the landmark ruling as a turning point in the property dispute.He said that the ruling once again outlined the parameters for a solution in Cyprus. Pointing out that the ruling was in complete harmony with the principles defended by the Turkish side in the talks, Ercakica criticized the Greek Cypriot Administrations call to its citizens not to apply to the commission.

    [03] Former Turkish Ambassador described ECHRs ruling on the Immovable Property Commission as a pyrrhic victory

    Under the banner headline pyrrhic victory, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (10.03.10) in its front page reports that former Turkish Ambassador Tugay Ulucevik evaluated ECHRs ruling regarding the recognition of the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) set up by Turkey in the occupied areas of Cyprus as an effective domestic remedy. He said that those, who described this decision as a victory, accept that Turkey is an occupier and the TRNC is illegal.

    Mr Ulucevik criticized harshly those who applauded and described the decision as a victory and described ECHRs ruling as a pyrrhic victory. He outlined the negative elements of the decision as follows:

    The north part of Cyprus is under the occupation of the Turkish Armed Forces.

    The Security Council with the resolution no 541 counted the declaration of TRNC legally invalid. The Security Council asked the international community not to recognize the TRNC.

    The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe on November 1983 endorsed the decision which specified that they continue to recognize the Republic of Cyprus as the only legal government.

    There was a call to show respect to the sovereignty, independence, territorial integrity and unity of the Republic of Cyprus.

    (DPs)

    [04] Sozmener claims that there is a catch behind ECHRs ruling

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan newspaper (10.03.10) reports that the Chairman of the Bar Association and Council of Bars in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, Hasan Sozmener, evaluated the judgement of ECHR regarding the Immovable Property Commission (IPC) and said: Undoubtedly there is a catch behind those decisions that appear as a pole. Neither member of the European Union nor an international court decides or moves in favour of our black eyes and our black eyebrows In the light of our experience, we have to be very careful when commenting on these decisions which appear as a pole and while we try to understand them.

    Mr Sozmener said also that as Turkish Cypriots who claim that the property issue, which is part of the Cyprus problem, should be solved at the end of the ongoing negotiations between the two sides, they should not vocalize constantly this case. He added that they should not pay attention whether the decisions of the international courts are against or in favour of them.

    Mr Sozmener said that Britain, which is an EU member, decided to reform the legal system in the occupied areas and for this purpose specialists were sent to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. Mr Sozmener added that these specialists with astronomic wages proposed a package under the name reform, however, their purpose was to use TRNC as a guinea pig.

    (DPs)

    [05] Cemil Cicek stated that the withdrawal of the Turkish troops from Cyprus can occur after the solution of the Cyprus

    Istanbul Bugun online in Turkish (09.03.10) publishes an interview with the Deputy Prime Minister of Turkey, Cemil Cicek. Replying to a question regarding the Cyprus Problem, Cicek said the following:

    Q: You are also responsible for Cyprus. The Prime Minister told the Greek Cypriot press that the military presence there could be withdrawn in the future. What kind of a process is being envisaged after this happens?

    R: The parameters of a lasting and fair solution are clear. This can be done after a solution is achieved. Do not suppose that the soldiers are going to be withdrawn tomorrow. Besides, right now the Greek Cypriot side is seeking excuses to flee from the talks and not resolve this matter.

    [06] Talat, Eroglu, Ertugruloglu and Avci are still holding contacts in Turkey before the elections in the occupied areas

    Under the title The candidates and the hopes are in Ankara!, Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (10.03.10) reports that the contacts of the candidates and those who have hopes from Ankara are being intensified in the eve of the presidential elections, which will be held in the occupied areas of Cyprus on 18 April. The paper writes that the contacts of the candidates and the possible candidates in Ankara continue. Tahsin Ertugruloglu, MP with the National Unity Party (UBP), who is considering of becoming a candidate and who had been invited to Ankara twice last week, was invited to Ankara again by President Gul. The meeting between the two was postponed yesterday due to other engagements of President Gul. According to the paper, the two are expected to meet today.

    Ortam writes also that Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), who became a partner in the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) government by establishing his own party after resigning from the post of the general secretary of the UBP, is also in Ankara and holding contacts regarding the elections.

    The self-styled prime minister Dervis Eroglu, who visited Turkey last week and held meetings with high ranking officials of the Turkish government including prime minister Erdogan, President Gul and Foreign Minister Davutoglu, is in Istanbul again and met yesterday with officials of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmens Association (TUSIAD).

    Moreover, the paper writes that the Turkish Cypriot leader Talat is also in Turkey. Mr Talat went to Istanbul yesterday to participate in a television program. Today he is expected to go to Ankara in order to be briefed on the Modern Agricultural Practices and the Project of Carrying Water to Cyprus from Turkey.

    Hasa Ercakica, Mr Talats spokesman, said during his weekly press briefing yesterday that there is no planned meeting between Mr Talat and the Turkish Prime Minister or President Gul. However, he added, such meetings are possible.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (10.03.10) refers to the issue and reports that the finishing touches for the illegal elections in the occupied part of Cyprus are made in Ankara. The paper notes that the candidates for the elections paid innumerable visits to Turkey during the last month.

    One comes and the other goes. This time, Ankara gathered them all together in order to secure the balance, points out Afrika.

    Afrika writes that the ORP stated that it will not have its own candidate in the elections. According to the paper, the party is waiting for the results of Avcis contacts in Ankara in order to decide whom it will support.

    Meanwhile, under the title Two candidates for the time being, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.03.10) refers to the issue and reports that Erdogan Sanlidag, general secretary of the ORP, stated yesterday that they will not have their own candidate and that they will support one of the candidates after the number and the names of the candidates become definite.

    Star Kibris reports also that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that the committee of the party will meet tonight and evaluate three alternatives: to determine a party candidate, to leave its supporters free to vote whomever they wish or to support Mehmet Ali Talat.

    The paper points out that the Higher Election Board will be accepting applications from candidates until Friday, 12 March. The names of the candidates will be announced temporarily on 13 March and finally on 22 March.

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] The DP and the ORP are not being unified

    Under the above title Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.03.10) refers to the information published yesterday in the press that the Democratic Party (DP) and the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) are being unified. The paper reports that Bengu Sonya, responsible for DPs foreign affairs, said yesterday in statements to Ada television that the information was a speculation and that there have been some thoughts in the two parties on this issue from time to time, but nothing happened. Mr Sonya said: Reference was made in certain times to the unification of these parties during meetings both at high and low level between the DP and the ORP. This gained acceleration and advanced, but at the moment I can say the following: there is no initiative, there is no meeting on this issue.

    In statements to the same television, Ramazan Ozcelik, spokesman of the ORP said that some MPs of the DP suggested to the MPs of the ORP the unification of the parties. He noted that this proposal was unofficial. He noted that the proposal regarding the ORP to be attached to the DP is unacceptable.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] YODAK chairman attends European convention in Budapest

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (10.03.10) reports that the chairman of the Higher Education, Planning, Evaluation, Accreditation and Coordination Council (YODAK), Prof. Dr. Hasan Ali Bicak, is in the Hungarian capital of Budapest. According to the paper, Dr. Bicak will represent the occupation regime to a meeting and a forum organised by the European Association of Institutions in Higher Education (EURASHE) in cooperation with the Academic Cooperation Association (ACA), in the framework of the meetings on the 10th year since the establishment of the Bologna process. The outcomes of the meetings, which began the previous day, will be presented at the Bologna Ministerial conference on March 11-12, 2010. European Quality Assurance agents, university rectors and student representatives will attend the meetings.

    (EA)

    [09] The occupation regime is being represented at the ITB Berlin 2010 fair

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan newspaper (10.03.10) reports that the breakaway regime will participate in the International Tourism Exchange (ITB) Berlin 2010 fair, which will take place between March 10-14 in the German capital of Berlin. Officials from the so-called ministry of tourism together with various representatives from the tourism sector will represent the occupation regime at the fair with a stand of 169 square metres. During the fair, the representatives will have the chance to introduce to the participants of the fair, tourism in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, the hotels and the means of access, their food culture as well as the Turkish Cypriot customs.

    (EA)

    [10] Erdogan stated that Turkey will not send its envoy back to US before seeing clear results

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.03.10) reported the following from Riyadh:

    Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey would not send back its ambassador to U.S. before seeing clear results.

    On March 4, Turkey temporarily recalled its ambassador in Washington D.C. Namik Tan minutes after a U.S. congressional panel approved a resolution labelling the incidents of 1915 as 'genocide'. The resolution on Armenian allegations related to the incidents of 1915 was adopted at the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs in a voting of 23-22. Shortly after the measure passed the committee voting, Turkish government said in a statement that Ambassador Tan had been recalled to Ankara for consultations.

    Speaking to reporters in Saudi Arabia, Erdogan said that adoption of the resolution concerned Turkey, adding that the U.S. was a strategic ally and partner of Turkey.

    Erdogan said that the decision was not binding, however, the attitude was important. He said that the attitude of the U.S. in the next period was very important for Turkey, adding that Turkey was waiting for the attitude the U.S. would assume next. Erdogan noted that he did not believe the U.S. would sacrifice its strategic partner for simple political discussions. He said that Turkey would assess the situation in a large scale, and would not send back its ambassador before seeing a clear result.

    Turkey and Armenia signed two protocols on October 10, 2009 to normalize relations between the two countries. The protocols envisage the two countries to establish diplomatic ties and open the border that has been close since 1993. Turkey and Armenia agreed also to take steps to operate a sub-commission on impartial scientific examination of the historical records and archive to define existing problems and formulate recommendations, in which Armenian, Turkish as well as Swiss and other international experts would take part. However, on January 12, 2010, the Constitutional Court of Armenia declared a decision of constitutional conformity on the protocols. Turkey thought the fifth article of Armenian Constitutional Court's verdict regarding the protocols was against the target and basis of the protocols.

    Also, in 2005, Turkey officially proposed to the Armenian government the establishment of a joint commission of history composed of historians and other experts from both sides to study together the events of 1915 not only in the archives of Turkey and Armenia but also in the archives of all relevant third countries and to share their findings with the public.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [11] Columnist in Todays Zaman assesses the ECHR decision on the property issue as legally wrong but politically correct

    Todays Zaman newspaper (10.03.10) under the title: European courts judgment on Cyprus issue legally wrong, politically correct, publishes the following commentary by Ortan Kemal Cengiz:

    Lets be honest. The European Court of Human Rights latest verdict on property cases brought by Greek Cypriot citizens against Turkey is not legally correct. But, at the same time, it is politically wise.

    Before discussing its political implications, I should first explain why I think this judgment is legally wrong. The European Court of Human Rights is an international human rights court that produces precedents that are legally binding on all countries that recognize its jurisdiction. It is not a court of first instance, meaning it cannot handle a case as if it were a national court. Nor is it an appellate court, meaning it cannot correct the judgments of national courts. It basically interprets the meaning of the provisions of the European Convention on Human Rights by way of creating legal precedents that will be of a binding nature on all countries that are party to the convention. These precedents, of course, are not only binding on the countries but also on the European court itself. This means that if the European court changes its previous interpretation on a certain matter, it should explain why.

    I honestly cannot see any satisfactory explanation to this last property case indicating why the European court threw out the precedent it created in the case of Loizidou v. Turkey in 1996. As it is known, Ms. Loizidou brought a case against Turkey because she had to leave her property in the northern part of the island due to Turkeys 1974 military intervention. The first discussion in this case centered on whether Turkey could be held responsible for any violations that occurred on the island. Turkey argued that it cannot be held responsible in this case because there is a sovereign state in the northern part of the island, namely the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (KKTC). The European court rejected this argument, saying that the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) exercised effective overall control in the northern part of the island, therefore entailing responsibility on Turkeys part for the policies and actions of the KKTC.

    Has anything on the island changed since 1996? Undoubtedly Turkey still has effective control in this part of the island. But this time, the European court changed its approach to the matter and said that Immovable Property Commissions (IPC) set up by the KKTC provide an effective remedy within the meaning of the convention and that Greek Cypriot citizens should therefore first turn to these commissions to seek compensation for the property they lost and that if they cannot get satisfaction, they should then turn to the European court.

    With this interpretation the European court also reversed its prior stance with regard to property rights without giving any explanation. In the Loizidou case, the European court ordered Turkey to pay almost $1 million to the plaintiff, Ms. Loizidou, stating clearly that this compensation was not awarded for the property per se but only for the denial of ownership and use of the property and that Ms. Loizidou retains full legal ownership of her property. In this second property case, however, the European court found nothing wrong in Greek Cypriots losing their property in exchange for compensation provided by the IPC. As you may appreciate, the implications and rights provided by the two judgments are strikingly different. These two judgments cannot simultaneously be legally correct; one of them is wrong.

    Why did the court change its stance? Its workload must have played a role. There were 1,500 property cases pending before the court. So with one single judgment it got rid of all these cases by referring all suits to the northern Cypriot property commissions. But I think this cannot be the only explanation.

    The case gives an important message to Greek Cypriots: The Cyprus problem cannot be solved merely by exerting international pressure on Turkey. This problem should be solved at the negotiating table, and there will be serious consequences for Greek Cypriots if they fail to meet the demands of the international community.

    There is a similar message for Turkey as well. Its cooperative attitude when it came to the Annan plan was rewarded. There is another thing, though, which should be seriously reflected upon by Turkish authorities. The European court has done Turkey significant favors before, as was the case with this latest ruling. Despite the common Turkish urban myth, the European court has always favored Turkey. It could, for example, have embarrassed Turkey in the 90s by declaring that torture and ill-treatment in the country took the form of administrative practice, which would have relieved applicants claiming to have been tortured of the burden of having to exhaust domestic remedies. The European court did this for the UK before but refrained from embarrassing Turkey with a similar finding.

    Yet, despite all of the European courts favors, Turkish authorities continued to sell their cheap propaganda that the court has always discriminated against Turkey. This last case should provide a serious incentive for Turkish authorities and the media to stop exploiting Turkish societys feelings by creating distorted pictures of Europe and Turkey in which Turkey has always been wronged.

    In short, this latest judgment of the European court provides much rich material for everyone to reflect upon. If understood, it can even be an antidote to the nationalistic hysterias that are so popular among both the Greeks and the Turks.

    AK/EI


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