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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-04-21

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. 72/10 21.04.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] More than thirty eight thousand voters did not go to the polls on the April 18 illegal presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [02] Erdogan and Davutoglu sent messages to Talat
  • [03] The speaker of the TGNA congratulated Eroglu
  • [04] Deniz Baykal evaluated the results of the illegal elections
  • [05] Serdar Denktas evaluates Sundays elections results
  • [06] Rauf Denktas is satisfied with Eroglus win
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot daily says Turkey succeeded to get what it wanted in the illegal elections of 18 April 2010
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot organizations stress that the continuation of the negotiations in Cyprus depends on Turkey
  • [09] KTOS takes Turkey to the ECHR because of the ban of strikes in the occupied areas of Cyprus
  • [10] Data on the illegal regimes imports and exports for January-February 2010
  • [11] EU term president Spain extends support to Turkeys membership
  • [12] Davutoglu extends Turkeys support to Balkan countries EU and Bosnia Herzegovinas NATO membership
  • [13] Davutoglu discusses Turkish-Iranian bilateral relations and Irans nuclear program with his Iranian counterpart
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [14] Columnist argues that Eroglu will have to comply with Ankaras demands and follow the Davutoglu decides Eroglu supports doctrine
  • [15] Columnist assesses that Eroglu cannot afford to make u-turns since Ankara wants to keep the upper hand on Cyprus
  • [16] From the Turkish Press on 20 April 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] More than thirty-eight thousand voters did not go to the polls on the April 18 illegal presidential elections in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli newspaper (21.04.10) reports on the official results of the April 18 illegal presidential elections held in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. According to an announcement made by the Turkish Cypriot Higher Electoral Board (YSK), out of a total of 164.072 electors, 125.294 persons casted their vote at the 629 ballot boxes used throughout the occupied territories of Cyprus during the illegal elections. The percentage of the participation in the so-called elections reached 76.37%. The statement said that 38.778 electors did not go to the polls and that 3.312 of the votes, that is 2.64%, were invalid.

    Referring to the final results of the elections, YSK announced that Dervis Eroglu became the new self-styled president winning 50.38% of the votes and that he was followed by Mehmet Ali Talat with 42.87%, Tahsin Ertugruloglu with 3.81%, Zeki Besiktepeli with 1.61%, M. Kemal Tumkan with 0.79%, Arif Salih Kirdag with 0.43% and Ayhan Kaymak with 0.14%. Mr Eroglu was elected from the first round by receiving 61.422 votes, out of the 121.982 valid votes. Referring to the rest of the candidates, the statement said that Mr Talat received 52.294 votes, Mr Ertugruloglu 4.647, Mr Besiktepeli 1967, Mr Tumkan 964, Mr Kirdag 520 and Mr Kaymak 168.

    The most invalid votes were casted in occupied Morfou area and the less in occupied Lefkosia. Accordingly, the percentages of the invalid votes in each occupied election area were: Lefkosia 1.94%, Famagusta 3.01%, Keryneia 2.04%, Morfou 3.69% and Trikomo 3.50%.

    Moreover, the highest voter turnout was observed in Famagusta, while the lowest in Keryneia. Throughout the occupied areas of Cyprus the voter turnout was 76.37%, having 76.01% in Lefkosia, 77.42% in Famagusta, 74.59% in Keryneia, 77.17% in Morfou and 77.01% in Trikomo.

    (EA)

    [02] Erdogan and Davutoglu sent messages to Talat

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.04.10) reports that the Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdogan has sent a message to the Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat, noting that the period of his presidency will remain in history as a process of a struggle which opened the way for the Turkish Cypriots being unified with the world under any circumstances. Mr Erdogan said that the constructive effort which Mr Talat exerted tirelessly and his skilful and visionary leadership has given the possibility to the TRNC, breakaway regime in the occupied areas of Cyprus, to cover a great distance from the point of view of reaching to the place it deserves in the world.

    Mr Erdogan pointed out that it is essential for the comprehensive solution process, which has been carried out by Mr Talat with success until today within the framework of the UN, to continue on the same line and in the direction of the same fundamental principles. He alleged that Turkey will continue its full support in the direction of finding a just and lasting solution in Cyprus.

    Alleging that a solution could be found soon if the Greek Cypriot side tries to be in harmony with the sincere efforts of the Turkish Cypriot side, Mr Erdogan claimed: In case the Greek Cypriot side continues to avoid the solution, I believe that the world will come to the point of stopping the continuation of the injustice made against the Turkish Cypriots. Whatever happens in the end of this process, the Turkish Cypriot people will be the winnerMotherland Turkey will continue to be the security of the Turkish Cypriots as the effective and active guarantor of the entire Island

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.04.10) reports that the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ahmet Davutoglu has also sent a message to Mr Talat alleging that during his leadership the Turkish Cypriots proved to the world beyond any doubt that they are the side which exerts constructively and sincerely the maximum effort in favour of a just and lasting solution and it was possible for the statements, which covered the intentions and the understanding of the Greek Cypriot side, to fizzle out. The paper writes that Mr Davutoglu urged Mr Talat to continue sharing his experiences with the new Turkish Cypriot leadership.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] The speaker of the TGNA congratulated Eroglu

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.04.10) reports that the speaker of the Turkish Grand National Assembly (TGNA), Mehmet Ali Sahin congratulated Dr Dervis Eroglu for his victory in the illegal presidential elections.

    Mr Sahin stated, inter alia, that Turkey will continue to support both the Turkish Cypriots and the decisions they make.

    (CS)

    [04] Deniz Baykal evaluated the results of the illegal elections

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (21.04.10) reports that the chairman of the Republican Peoples Party (CHP), Deniz Baykal, commenting on the illegal presidential elections held last Sunday in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, stated that the election taken place in the TRNC revealed an important demand for a change. Mr Baykal made these statements speaking at his partys parliamentary meeting.

    Mr Baykal stated, inter alia, that the demand for the change was not related only with the person of the president, but with the policy carried out regarding the Cyprus problem and with various promises given on Cyprus. He also expressed the hope this election to set a new political path for Cyprus and Mr Dervis Eroglu to continue the Cyprus negotiations.

    (CS)

    [05] Serdar Denktas evaluates Sundays elections results

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.04.10) broadcast the following:

    The leader of the Democrat Party (DP) Serdar Denktas has said that the result of the TRNC presidential election has given the world the strong message that the Cyprus Turkish people is in favour of a viable solution to the Cyprus problem, which will protect their rights. Issuing a written statement on Sundays elections, Denktas underlined the need for the people of the TRNC to put their differences aside and to unite in order to strengthen the Cyprus Turkish sides hand at the negotiation table.

    He said his party expects the new president of the TRNC, Dervis Eroglu, to take the necessary initiatives for the formation of a National Council, which he said, will play an important role in uniting the people. The DP leader also said that the percentages of the vote gained by Eroglu and Talat in the election have given the world the message that the Cyprus Turkish people will not abandon their rights while at the same time proved that they are still in support of a solution.

    [06] Rauf Denktas is satisfied with Eroglus win

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis newspaper (21.04.10), under the title Rauf Denktas: Eroglus win satisfied me..., publishes an exclusive interview with the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas.

    Mr Rauf Denktas congratulated Mr Eroglu and said that it was an expected result. He added that the results gave him a great satisfaction and that Mr Eroglu was elected from the first round as a result of Democratic Party (DP)s decision to give him full support. Mr Denktas claimed that if there were not interferences, Eroglu could have exceeded 60%.

    Mr Denktas, inter alia, said that the results of the so-called presidential elections should be evaluated well and added: 100% of the Turkish Cypriots want an agreement. However, 50% of them want this settlement to be based on their state and its sovereignty in order for this agreement to be lasting. We should evaluate this very well.

    Commenting on the period of Mehmet Ali Talats leadership, Mr Denktas alleged that the reason for which an agreement could not be reached in Cyprus despite Talats concessions was the intransigence of the Greek Cypriot side.

    Mr Denktas claimed that Cyprus President Christofias aim is to close up Cyprus problem by turning the Turkish Cypriot community into a minority in the European Union (EU) and added that the Turkish Cypriots say no to this. He also said that if they listen to the suggestion they receive and continue the negotiations in the same manner, it means that they should abandon the TRNC.

    Referring to Davutoglus visit to the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus, Mr Denktas said that it will be a great opportunity for making a new evaluation. He also recommended to Mr Eroglu that he should meet with Mr Talat prior to the negotiations in order to be briefed in detail regarding the talks. He proposed that Talats team should meet with Eroglus team in order to receive the information in every topic and added that after this, they should meet and inform Turkey if there are any topics that should be changed. After this, they should begin contacts with Mr Christofias, Mr Denktas said. Mr Denktas went on and said: Besides they should establish a National Council and advisers committee as it was promised. And they should do whatever they can in order to obtain a permanent agreement by knowing the Greek Cypriot sides goal and policy.

    Mr Denktas said that there is no reason why they should abandon the TRNC, which is 27 year-old, and establish a partnership with Greek Cypriots according to the 1960 model.

    Commenting on the Immovable Property Committee, Mr Denktas said that it is a committee that serves only the Greek Cypriots and rejects the deeds which the breakaway regime has issued.

    [07] Turkish Cypriot daily says Turkey succeeded to get what it wanted in the illegal elections of 18 April 2010

    Under the title Ankara sacrificed Talat, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.04.10) reports that Ankara succeeded to get what it wanted in the illegal elections held in the occupied areas of Cyprus on 18 April 2010. The paper writes, inter alia, the following:

    Erdogan appeared as being in favour of Talat, but he did not prevent the election of Eroglu. Thus, he killed two birds with one stone. He both proved to the world that a candidate supported by Ankara lost and that a deep-rooted democracy exists in the TRNC!

    The fact that Talat and his circle tried to present Eroglu as not being in harmony with the AKP government in Ankara strengthened the impression that Eroglu won this election without any meddling and in spite of Ankara.

    Important persons of the press of Turkey stress that it is not possible for Eroglu to act independently of the political will of Ankara.

    The statements made from Ankara after the elections and the congratulating messages to Eroglu show that the AKP government is not unhappy at all because of this result

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Turkish Cypriot organizations stress that the continuation of the negotiations in Cyprus depends on Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (21.04.10) reports that representatives of Turkish Cypriot organizations have stated that Turkey has a great role in the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. In statements to Kibris, representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Building Contractors Union, Turkish Cypriot Physicians Trade Union (Tip-Is), Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOEOS) and Turkish Cypriot Travel Agents Union (KITSAB) noted that the continuation of the negotiations is a must and that the Turkish Cypriots should not be the side which will leave the negotiating table.

    Erol Seherlioglu, chairman of Tip-Is, expressed the view that the Turkish Cypriots preserve their will for a solution in Cyprus and referring to the victory of Dervis Eroglu in the illegal presidential elections, added that the mentality which played great role in the Turkish Cypriot peoples being isolated from the world came to the post of the president. He noted that the continuation of the negotiating process depends on Turkey and added that Turkey has a great role in the negotiations. He pointed out that if Turkey is sincere when it says that it wants a solution, Mr Eroglu could not insist on the issues of the TRNC or the sovereignty and noted that Mr Eroglu should support completely opposite views than those he supported in the past.

    Adnan Eraslan, chairman of KTOEOS, said that the stance followed by Mr Eroglu at the negotiating table will show whether or not Turkey wants a solution in Cyprus.

    Soner Yetkili, chairman of the Building Contractors Union, wished for the negotiating process, which will positively influence the tourism sector as well, to continue in the same manner.

    Andac Gunay, chairman of KITSAB, said that the tourism sector in the occupied areas of Cyprus should be ready in case a solution is reached and noted that the Republic of Cyprus faced many problems in this sector because it joined the EU very suddenly.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] KTOS takes Turkey to the ECHR because of the ban of strikes in the occupied areas of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.04.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) is preparing to file a lawsuit at the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) because of the decision of the self-styled government of the breakaway regime to ban the strikes in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus. KTOS will file the lawsuit against Turkey because the ECHR does not recognize the breakaway regime, writes the paper.

    Moreover, the Education International organization has sent a letter to Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan asking from him to respect the rights of the members of KTOS and all the citizens. The letter is signed by Fred van Leewen, General Secretary of the Education International and it was also sent to President Christofias, the Representation of the EU in Cyprus, KTOS, the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOEOS) and the Greek Cypriot teachers trade unions POED, OELMEK and OLTEK.

    Meanwhile, the warning strike of the teachers trade unions at the Ataturk Teachers Academy continues. A meeting will be held today at the self-styled ministry of education for the solution of the problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Data on the illegal regimes imports and exports for January-February 2010

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.04.10) broadcast the following:

    Foreign trade figures for the first two months of 2010 have shown a 27% increase in imports and a 7% increase in exports compared to the figures for the same period in 2009. According to the figures released by the department of commerce, 197,421,430 dollars worth of exports and 10,265,779 dollars worth of imports were made in the first two months of this year.

    The figures reflect a 27% increase in imports and a 7% increase in exports. Turkey is the first import source for the TRNC with a share of 70.6 percent. 29.4 percent of the imports were made from third countries.

    56 percent of exports of the TRNC were made to Turkey and 44 percent to third countries. The items that the TRNC import include vehicles, fuel, furniture and furniture spare parts, medicines, information processing equipments and medical equipments. Diary products, citrus products and chicken meat are the main items exported by the country.

    [11] EU term president Spain extends support to Turkeys membership

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (21.04.10) reports the following from Belgrade:

    EU Term President Spain's Foreign Minister, Miguel Angel Moratinos, said on Tuesday that they extended full support to the EU Bid of Turkey and the West Balkans.

    Moratinos who appeared at a joint press conference with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic Serbian in Belgrade, said he was saying this not as the Spanish Foreign Minister, but an Official of the EU.

    Moratinos also said that they would also extend support to Bosnia-Herzegonia's Membership Action Plan (MAP) to NATO during the upcoming meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Estonia.

    In his part Jeremic said their priority strategic goal was all European countries accession to the EU.

    He said Serbia and Turkey had to become a member of the European Union.

    [12] Davutoglu extends Turkeys support to Balkan countries EU and Bosnia Herzegovinas NATO membership

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.10) reported the following from Belgrade:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said on Tuesday that Turkey had the vision of making Balkans be integrated into Europe.

    Davutoglu attended the meeting of foreign ministers of Turkey, Serbia and Spain in the Serbian capital of Belgrade. Later Davutoglu, Serbian Foreign Minister Vuk Jeremic and Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos held a press conference.

    Turkey, Serbia and Spain had a common vision regarding Europe and Balkans, Davutoglu said.

    Serbia is the key country for peace and security in the region and it is one of the most important regional factors. We, as three ministers, confirmed that we have similar views. Our vision is to make Balkans be integrated into Europe. We support Balkans' path toward the EU, he said.

    In regard to NATO foreign ministers' meeting that would take place in the Estonian capital of Tallinn, Davutoglu said Turkey and Spain would support Bosnia-Herzegovina's NATO membership.

    [13] Davutoglu discusses Turkish-Iranian bilateral relations and Irans nuclear program with his Iranian counterpart

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.10) reported the following from Tehran:

    Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said Tuesday Turkey's relations with Iran were very special.

    Speaking at a joint press conference with his Iranian counterpart Manouchehr Mottaki in Tehran, Davutoglu said that he held comprehensive talks with Mottaki on Tuesday and that identical meetings would continue in the future. We have reached excellent economic, political and cultural relations with Iran. During our talks on Tuesday, we went over our relations, Davutoglu said. We discussed ways to increase our mutual trade volume of 10 billion USD to 20 billion USD soon. Our relations will keep growing, Davutoglu said.

    Important developments are taking place in the region. The most important development in the region has to do with the elections in Iraq, the post-election status and efforts to form a government in Iraq, Davutoglu said. Iraq is an important friend and neighbour of both Turkey and Iran. Iraq's establishment of internal stability and support of its neighbours without interfering in Iraq's domestic issues are crucial for a strong regional atmosphere, Davutoglu noted.

    Minister Davutoglu said that the most important item on his trip's agenda was Iran's nuclear program.

    I shared my observations at the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington, D.C. with our Iranian friends, Davutoglu said. Turkey has a special responsibility in all issues on the agenda of the United Nations Security Council as a member of the Council. Turkey is especially interested in issues pertaining to Iran. Turkey has always made it clear that nuclear technology should be the right of every country as long as it is used for peaceful purposes, Davutoglu said.

    Nonetheless, nuclear weapons should be opposed any where in the world as these weapons are a threat to humanity, Davutoglu said. The way to resolve uneasiness should be through diplomacy and not mutual tensions, military options or sanctions, Davutoglu underlined. We pay high attention to resolving debates on Iran's nuclear program in the shortest time possible, Davutoglu said. Resolving debates on Iran's nuclear program would contribute to both regional and global peace, Davutoglu said.

    In response to a question on new sanctions against Iran, Minister Davutoglu said that Turkey was a country in the UN Security Council, a neighbour of Iran and a country with deep historical relations.

    Turkey is the country that would be affected the most by decisions taken on Iran at the UN Security Council. We are trying to resolve the issue of Iran's nuclear program before any sanctions are brought to the agenda of the Council. Our regional vision is based on high volume of economic relations, high level dialogue in the Middle East, mutual economic dependency, and turning the region into one of prosperity and stability, Davutoglu said.

    As one of the biggest economies in the region, Turkey has to protect her interests with neighbouring countries, including with Iran. We believe that there is still a great chance for diplomacy, Davutoglu underlined.

    Through diplomacy, we believe that we can prevent all other possible negative developments and find new alternatives. God willing, we will create solutions with Iran and the international community, Davutoglu said.

    Mottaki, in his part, said that Davutoglu and he discussed bilateral relations, Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine.

    We had a chance to exchange views with Davutoglu, Mottaki said.

    Ahmet Davutoglu later met with the Secretary General of Iran's Supreme National Council and chief nuclear negotiator Saeed Jalili.

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.04.10) also reported that Mr Davutoglu met with Iranian President Mahmud Ahmadi-Nejad and Iranian Parliament Speaker Ali Larijani.


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [14] Columnist argues that Eroglu will have to comply with Ankaras demands and follow the Davutoglu decides Eroglu supports doctrine

    Under the title Bitter lemons getting even more bitter? Turkish Hurriyet Daily News.com (20.04.10) publishes the following commentary by Burak Bekdil:

    They gave us coffee and a sandwich and gave the Turkish side a four-course champagne dinner. This is how a Greek Cypriot official had justified the resounding No in Greek Cyprus to the final version of the Annan plan. Six years after the referendum for the reunification of Cyprus failed, the Turkish Cypriots probably thought that all their president, Mehmet Ali Talat, could get them from the West was coffee and a sandwich.

    Sundays presidential election in Turkish Cyprus reflected that thinking: the mistrust for Mr. Talat was a result more of exogenous rather than indigenous factors. Call it disappointment, or frustration, whatever the sentiment; it goes all the way through to Western lands.

    No matter what, or how, we all should respect the election results which, borrowing Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogans most beloved rhetoric, reflected the will of the Turkish Cypriot nation, just like the Yes vote to the reunification six years ago.

    The pro-reunification camp may have been disappointed. But the recent history of the island famous for its bitter lemons is full of miscalculations. It was retrospectively (and widely and wrongly, too?) accepted by the pro-reunification wings of both communities and their guarantor states that Denktas could never do a Talat, or Papadopoulos could never do a Vassiliou, or a Christofias. But the fact is, presidents Talat and Demetris Christofias did not make a Kohl or Gorbachev either.

    For several years the Greek doctrine basically was Nicosia decides Athens supports. It is highly probable that the Turkish doctrine after the election of nationalist (again, a wrong epithet?) Dervis Eroglu to presidency could be Davutoglu decides Eroglu supports. In this regard, Mr. Erdogan spoke the truth when he said that a different phase would not emerge. He also accused the West of dishonesty and, quoting former German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder, for immorality, but this columnist should not judge.

    True, Mr. Talat was instrumental to help Ankara boast a better foreign policy posture, especially regarding Turkeys EU bid and the related issue, Cyprus. But many in Mr. Erdogans cabinet grudgingly supported this old communist who is probably also an atheist. For Ankara, Mr. Talats face value was not his political profile or ideology, but his help for the Turkish government internationally.

    Now a very different man will be at the wheel. He is ideologically closer to the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, especially to the nationalist wing of the Turkish cabinet. But it is suspected he will return to an intransigent posture as far as the reunification negotiations are concerned. This may not be true.

    There will probably be bruises and scratches until the Turkish Foreign Ministry and Mr. Eroglus negotiating team (yet to be formed) find a modus vivendi. But eventually Turks and Turkish Cypriots have good chances to start speaking the same language as both sides clearly consist of men known for their pragmatic skills.

    Some demographic change in Turkish Cyprus toward religious conservatism, an inflow of Turkish imams to teach these ignorant island Turks their religion, a proliferation of Islamic community (cemaat) schools and universities, a few new mosques coupled with an inflow of impressive amounts of cash from the mainland, there youll see a very different Mr. Eroglu, always willing to cooperate with Ankara. Ah, business Sure there will be new business opportunities benefiting everyone involved.

    Hence, it will be Davutoglu decides Eroglu supports. Ankara will in no time teach Mr. Eroglu that cooperation will be in his best interests. And the pragmatic Mr. Eroglu will probably behave pragmatically.

    This may make a perfect scenario for Ankara: Our man in the north of Nicosia in place, and exporting some Islamic influence to the island Turks who are not notorious for their piety.

    One of these days Mr. Eroglu will show up in Ankara, like every Turkish Cypriot president-elect has done, and get his first lecture on Mainland-Babyland Relations 101. With a little bit of luck, who knows, the nationalistic/intransigent Mr. Eroglu could make an ideal student with high honor marks.

    But I personally cannot help smiling at a remote possibility If Mr. Erdogan and his men successfully export their principal ideological commodity to the Turkish Cypriots and whatever has happened in Turkey also happens in the north of Cyprus

    Meanwhile, if reunification talks hopefully succeed as everyone involved says they should It would be truly fun to see the always Mr. Erdogan-loving Greeks and Greek Cypriots having to co-habit with a society demographically altered into their favorite Turkish leaders ideological preferences

    [15] Columnist assesses that Eroglu cannot afford to make u-turns since Ankara wants to keep the upper hand on Cyprus

    Under the title Cyprus: Ankara will want to keep the upper hand Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (21.04.10) publishes the following commentary by Amanda Paul:

    As predicted, Dervis Eroglu became the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community earlier this week, beating incumbent President Mehmet Ali Talat by 50.38 percent to 42.85 percent.

    With Mr. Eroglus reputation as a hard-liner many people have predicted that the last chance to reunify the island has disappeared and that Cyprus will remain divided forever while at the same time Turkey, whose membership aspirations are unavoidably attached to the resolution of the conflict, will never be able to make it into the EU. All in all, high drama in the Aegean.

    The Greek Cypriots have said it is a bad result, bearing in mind Mr. Eroglus long-standing declared position against a federation and preference for the establishment of two independent states in Cyprus. As a senior Greek Cypriot official put it when I asked him about negotiating with Eroglu, We have no choice, no alternative; it is a step backwards because the man [Eroglu] has no vision of reunification, but rather of separation, but under no circumstances will President Christofias walk away from the talks. However, many in northern Cyprus and Turkey continue to believe that the Greek Cypriots do not really support a solution, anyway, so in that case then Eroglus win is actually beneficial to them -- particularly if he enters the talks in an aggressive and bullish manner, attempting to make U-turns on areas where Talat had already reached agreement with Christofias.

    In any case, the talks wont collapse because Turkey will not allow them to. As long as Turkey continues to believe that a settlement is in Turkeys broader interests, the process will continue because no Turkish Cypriot would be allowed to damage Turkeys foreign policy objectives, and clearly Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglus zero problems with neighbors policy also applies to Cyprus. Turkey wants to continue to be viewed as an increasingly powerful regional player and therefore needs to act accordingly in order to project the new image of Turkey to the world. This is why there will be continued pressure on Eroglu from Ankara not to stray from the path that was opened up by the Annan plan, when Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots gained the moral and political high ground after, under then-Greek Cypriot leader Tassos Papadopoulos, the Greek Cypriots voted no to the plan. At that time Turkey was praised by the international community for its outstanding efforts towards a settlement, and ever since Ankara has endeavored to keep one step ahead of the Greek Cypriots approaches. Turkey under no circumstances wants to slip back to the bad old days with Ankara being labeled once again as the intransigent party. This would be no good for the new image of the country.

    I dont believe for one minute that Eroglu wants to sit with Christofias and negotiate a settlement. Probably if it were up to him and his electorate the talks would stop and he would push instead for international recognition for northern Cyprus. However, he needs to work with Ankara and maintain the direction the talks have taken under Talat. He will also no doubt come under pressure from the UN, the EU and the US to have a pragmatic approach and not go outside of the parameters that have already been agreed. He has indicated that his negotiating technique will not be like Talats and that he will not be submissive. Eroglu has always said that he would never accept a single sovereignty as agreed between Talat and Christofias, and he is unhappy about the cross-voting policy. It will therefore be interesting to see to what extent he will endeavor to move on these issues and what the reaction of the other players will be. Turkey in principle supported Talats acceptance of single sovereignty; will they stick to it or move back to a the world must accept the realities on the island approach? One also has to bear in mind that Eroglu has been warned by Erdogan to sit and behave appropriately; otherwise, his economic situation may suffer. With northern Cyprus dependent on financial aid from Ankara for its survival, Eroglu simply cannot afford to make waves with the motherland.

    So we can conclude the talks will go on and on, with each side wanting to keep the upper hand and neither side leaving the table, but whether these talks will actually produce anything constructive still very much remains to be seen.

    Ankara will also expect the EU to do its part, too, by finally implementing the Direct Trade Regulation. If the regulation is passed by the European Parliament, the Greek Cypriots could only stop it by creating a blocking minority in the European Council. The Greek Cypriots will go to any lengths as they fear the adoption would mark the beginning of the end of a one-state solution. The EU has a clear choice -- upset Greek Cypriots but strengthen ties with Turkey by breathing new momentum into the membership talks, or do the opposite. For me the answer should be clear. However, given the shortsightedness of many in the EU it would not surprise me if the Greek Cypriots are successful and the regulation remains blocked.

    [16] From the Turkish Press on 20 April 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press on 20 April 2010:

    a) In the aftermath of the so-called presidential elections in occupied Cyprus:

    In an article entitled "EU main cause of Eroglu's victory in Cyprus," Hurriyet Daily News columnist Semih Idiz ascribes Dervis Eroglu's victory in the occupied northern part of Cyprus partly to disappointment caused by the EU's failure to keep its promises after the referendum held in 2004 in addition to the conviction that the outgoing Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat conceded far too much to the Greek Cypriot side. Pointing out that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has tacitly warned Eroglu not to leave the negotiating table, Idiz says: "It is clear that Mr. Eroglu no longer has just the U.N. and the EU to contend with, but also the Justice and Development Party, or AKP, administration in Ankara. Given northern Cyprus almost total dependence on Turkey, it is clear that there are hard times ahead for Mr. Eroglu also."

    Analyzing the factors which contributed to Eroglu's election victory in an article entitled "What will change with Eroglu?", Milliyet columnist Sami Kohen says that Eroglu's election has shown that the Turkish Cypriot voters desire radical changes in the policy pursued by Mehmet Ali Talat. Drawing attention to recent statements made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu who said that the Turkish Cypriot side should not change its position in the ongoing talks in Cyprus, Kohen says: "I think that Eroglu will take these messages and suggestions that he will get in Ankara into consideration. Otherwise, he could put Ankara in a very difficult position while creating serious troubles for Turkish Cypriots which he probably does want to see."

    In an article entitled "Eroglu must follow Talat's policy," Sabah columnist Mehmet Barlas draws attention to various factors and problems which, he says, will force Eroglu to seek a compromise with the Greek Cypriot side. He comments: "Mehmet Ali Talat has successfully completed the race of his own term. He was successful in making progress in talks aimed at finding a lasting solution. The existence of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus is recognized more than ever in the world, although this is a de facto situation. It is inevitable for Eroglu to carry the flag to a further point in this race and maintain the talks for a permanent settlement. Meanwhile, current facts which could force Eroglu to act in a different manner as compared with the fast should not be overlooked."

    In an article entitled "'Win-win' or "Scrape-win?'", Radikal columnist Erdal Guven says that Eroglu is expected to abandon his uncompromising and rigid stance and cooperate with Erdogan over time. Pointing out that Talat's defeat may be the beginning of the end of the AKP's policy vis--vis Cyprus, he comments: "It seems that Eroglu does not have any other choice if the AKP government intends to make progress regarding Turkey's accession to the EU by also taking account of other risks that I have noted above."

    In an article entitled "Anticipated result in Cyprus," Radikal columnist Hasan Celal Guzel cautions that Eroglu's election may accelerate the process of a permanent divide in Cyprus if the United Nations, the United States, and the EU do not take necessary steps being aware of this risk. He says: "The Greek Cypriot administration and the powers which support it have probably seen that it would not be possible to further intensify pressure on Turkish Cypriots. Turkey and Prime Minister Erdogan are also running out of patience because promises made about Cyprus have not been kept."

    In an article entitled "Eroglu's successful test," Cumhuriyet columnist Orhan Birgit says that 50.39 percent of Turkish Cypriot voters who supported Eroglu actually expressed their desire for preserving their state founded on 15 November 1983. Birgit also notes that Eroglu wants a federation to be formed by two equal states rather than a unitary Republic of Cyprus consisting of two separate communities.

    In an article entitled "'The day after' in Cyprus," Taraf columnist Temel Iskit attributes Talat's election defeat to loss of hopes arising from the EU's stance and mistakes made by the Republican Turkish Party (CTP). Emphasizing that nothing will be the same in Cyprus after Eroglu's election, Iskit comments: "The incoming president's reluctance about a federal solution based on the principles of single sovereignty and single citizenship and the UN parameters agreed upon will most probably be reflected in the talks. The opinion that Eroglu will not defy Ankara which favors a solution and, therefore, there would be no impediment in the negotiations is not very comforting. Ankara's pressure would be influential only to a certain extent."

    b) Erdogan's remarks about the introduction of a presidential system:

    Commenting on Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's recent statement that switching over to a presidential system may be considered in an article entitled "Presently we are literally in a presidential system," Turkish Daily News columnist Mehmet Ali Birand says: "I believe that the presidential system, just like it was during Ozal's term, would be more suitable for our country today. The danger of a single-man or dictatorship is exaggerated. Besides, let's not forget that parliaments in a presidential system may consist of different parties. And on the contrary the presidential system brings consensus and supervision of balances. It's a more effective management mode than the present one."

    Criticizing Erdogan's remarks about the presidential system in an article entitled "What did you say?" Hurriyet columnist Oktay Eksi comments: "We can understand that he wants a presidential system which would save him from being brought to account and to become an 'elected Sultan' if he is elected as President. These are 'human' aspirations. But, if we consent to surrendering Turkey to a 'one-man' rule which would be more ruthless and arbitrary than the current one at the cost of pleasing a Turkish citizen named Tayyip Erdogan, there would be no problem at all."

    In an article entitled "Gul's appeal has gone unanswered," Hurriyet columnist Sedat Ergin says that Erdogan has triggered a debate over the presidential system. He notes: "So, the move aimed at amending the Constitution has significantly changed. It is becoming clear that the package is a step aimed at preparing the ground for a presidential system rather than achieving democratization. But, debates over the presidency also make it impossible to provide answers to a variety of questions about President Gul's term and the future of his political career."

    A report entitled "Do not take it seriously" in Hurriyet quotes Republican People's Party, CHP, leader Deniz Baykal as ascribing Erdogan's remarks about the presidential system to his plan to establish an autocratic regime while avoiding the possibility of being brought to trial because of alleged wrongdoings by appointing judges close to the ruling party to the Constitutional Court.

    Highlighting the pros and cons of a presidential system in an article entitled "Presidential system?", Milliyet columnist Taha Akyol says: "Switching over to a presidential system without establishing checks and balances mechanism similar to the one in the US system would create a president or a dictator who dominates the legislature and appoints all commanders, governors, and police chief in the executive. This is why this system has created dictators in various countries except for the United States."

    In an article entitled "A presidential system in Turkey?" Sabah columnist Nazli Ilicak says: "I am against a presidential system similar to the one existing in the United States. Tayyip Erdogan may be designing a suit for himself. But, I fear that we may eventually become a country like those in South America rather than the United States because power can easily transform into an authoritarian regime in Turkey."

    In an article entitled "We will elect the first President in 2014", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru comments on the debate started by Prime Minister Erdogan's disclosure that he would look favourably on Turkey's switch to the [US-type] presidential system. Koru asserts that it is unlikely for Turkey to be able to take action on Erdogan's suggestion before 2014. He also warns that if Erdogan becomes president in the current system without first "entrusting" leadership of the AKP to someone who would give him sure footing as president, he and the AKP might suffer the same fate as Mehmet Ali Talat and his former party did in occupied Cyprus.

    Under the headline, "It Was Ozal's dream," Vakit carries a front-page report which asserts that the subject of Turkey's switch to the presidential system, brought up by Erdogan, has already risen to the top of the domestic political agenda.

    EG/


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