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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-05-05

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. 82/10 05.05.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Ozgurgun claims that the cross voting abolishes the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people and waters down bi-zonality
  • [02] Atun says interest in the real estate market in the occupied areas of the island exists in Syria and Lebanon
  • [03] The breakaway regime encourages Lebanese businessmen to invest on occupied Greek Cypriot properties
  • [04] KTTO delegation in Brussels to ask support for the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation
  • [05] Irsen Kucuk visits Ankara for contacts before receiving the duty of UBPs presidency
  • [06] Cemal Bulutoglulari is the candidate of UBP and Semavi Ask of CTP for the upcoming local elections in the occupied part of Lefkosia
  • [07] Turkmen says Eroglu won the elections because he rejects the single sovereignty, the single state and the cross voting
  • [08] The inhabitants of occupied Louroudjina village want a crossing point in their area
  • [09] Inflation in the occupied areas of Cyprus has risen
  • [10] Spanish official: No new chapters may be opened for Turkey during Spains EU Presidency
  • [11] Turkish government official on Turkish-Israeli relations
  • [12] The Turkish Parliament adopts amendment about the structure of the Constitutional Court
  • [13] Turkish defence agency seeks to bolster private shipyards

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Ozgurgun claims that the cross voting abolishes the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people and waters down bi-zonality

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (05.05.10) reports that Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime, said yesterday that his ministry has undertaken an important role in the Cyprus talks. In statements to illegal Bayrak television, he noted that Kemal Gokeri, representative of the breakaway regime to New York, has been called to Cyprus in order to participate in the negotiating team of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. He also said that three more employees of the ministry will join this team.

    Asked about the ground on which they will be carrying out the negotiations, Mr Ozgurgun pointed out to the UN parameters and the political equality of the two founding states. He said what is important is to fill in the content of the above parameters.

    Replying to a question regarding the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriot side, Mr Ozgurgun said: Once, the case of the single sovereignty and single citizenship should be seriously evaluated. Our people have not quite accepted this. We have criticized this very much.

    Mr Ozgurgun alleged that they should search for a ground to reach an agreement without abolishing the sovereignty of the Turkish Cypriot people, the fact that they are a separate people on the island and the reality that the two peoples could reach an agreement to establish a state.

    He claimed that the cross voting abolishes this and it waters down bi-zonality. Mr Ozgurgun added: These must be targets which should be achieved in time step by step. Discussing this from the very first day is like shooting in the darkness. At the first stage, the steps are made carefully starting with good will and afterwards the point of the single sovereignty could slowly-slowly come. First, the people should show its will for living together and the climate should become appropriate. Afterwards, we could head towards the cross voting and the single sovereignty.

    Finally, he wished for the UN to approach the situation equally, carefully and in a balanced way.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Atun says interest in the real estate market in the occupied areas of the island exists in Syria and Lebanon

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (05.05.10) reports that Sunat Atun, self-styled minister of economy and energy, has stated that the breakaway regime will establish economic relations with other countries similar to the relations it established with Syria and Lebanon. Evaluating their recent visits to Syria and Lebanon, Mr Atun said their basic aim is to increase the volume of trade with these countries to a profitable level. He noted that as a result of the increase of the volume of trade with Lebanon and Syria, regular trips of passenger and cargo ships could start between occupied Famagusta, Mersin, Latakia and Beirut. He said that during their contracts in Syria they discussed this issue with a ship-owner.

    Mr Atun noted that during their visits they explained the investment possibilities in the occupied areas of Cyprus and added that within this framework a group of 15-20 Syrian businessmen will visit the occupied part of Cyprus in May.

    Responding to a question, Mr Atun said that Syria and Lebanon follow closely the political developments in the occupied areas of Cyprus, that they see positively the messages sent by Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu regarding the continuation of the negotiations and that interest in the real estate market in the occupied areas of the island exists with the expectation that the value of the property will increase after the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] The breakaway regime encourages Lebanese businessmen to invest on occupied Greek Cypriot properties

    Under the title The Middle East is the new hope, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (05.05.10) reports that Musa Sonmezer, chairperson of the committee of the Cyprus Turkish Investment Development Agency (YAGA), has stated that during their recent visit to Lebanon, Lebanese businessmen asked them about the issue of making investments on occupied Greek Cypriot properties. In statements to Havadis, Mr Sonmezer said they replied to the Lebanese businessmen that a Property Compensation Commission exists, that the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has taken a decision on this issue and that absolutely no problem will be created.

    Mr Sonmezer noted that it is very easy for the breakaway regime to increase its trade with the Arab countries. He said that their imports from Lebanon amount to two million US dollars and their exports to the above country reach the one million dollars. He said that the volume of trade with the Arab countries could be increased by ten times.

    Mr Sonmezer said that during their recent visits to Syria and Lebanon, they promoted the investment possibilities in the occupied areas of Cyprus and tourism. He noted that the Middle East countries have very good relations with Turkey and this constitutes a serious advantage for the Turkish Cypriots.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] KTTO delegation in Brussels to ask support for the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi newspaper (05.05.10) reports that a delegation headed by the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), Gunay Cerkez is in Brussels and is to hold contacts with EU officials on the issue of the Direct Trade Regulation.

    According to the paper, the delegation will explain to the EU officials that the trade conducted on the basis of the Green Line Regulation is limited only within the island itself and cannot be an alternative to the direct trade. The delegation will also ask for support to be given to the efforts exerted for the implementation of the Direct Trade Regulation.

    Halkin Sesi furthermore reports that the self-styled mayor of occupied Geunyeli, Ahmet Benli, holds contacts in Brussels with EU officials following an official invitation addressed to him.

    Ahmet Benli met on Tuesday with the EP deputy and member of the European Parliaments High-Level Contact Group for Relations with the Turkish Cypriots, Franziska Keller and the Director of Policy of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions, Angelika Poth Mogele. Ahmet Benli stated that during the meeting with Ms Mogele, they discussed the improvement of the relations among Geunyeli municipality and the municipalities of the EU countries, as well as potentials for financial cooperation if needed for the implementation of projects and techniques for the increase of the standard of living of people living in suburbs.

    (ML)

    [05] Irsen Kucuk visits Ankara for contacts before receiving the duty of UBPs presidency

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (05.05.10) reports that the General Secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), Irsen Kucuk, who will run as the single candidate for UBPs presidency, flew to Ankara on Tuesday for contacts.

    Irsen Kucuk is expected to hold talks with Turkeys Minister of State responsible for Cyprus, Cemil Cicek, as well as with members of the Turkish government and the Justice and Development Party (AKP).

    According to the paper, it is alleged that Tahsin Ertugruloglu will also visit Ankara for contacts.

    (ML)

    [06] Cemal Bulutoglulari is the candidate of UBP and Semavi Ask of CTP for the upcoming local elections in the occupied part of Lefkosia

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.05.10) reports that the acting Chairman of the National Unity Party (UBP), Irsen Kucuk, prior his visit to Ankara, stated yesterday to Kibris that Cemal Bulutoglulari is UBPs candidate in the upcoming local elections for the municipality of the occupied part of Lefkosia.

    The paper reports also that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) decided that their candidate for Lefkosia will be Semavi Ask, who had been working at Lefkosia municipal council for a long time.

    The paper also reports that the two biggest parties in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus have decided on their candidates for Lefkosia municipality.

    (DPs)

    [07] Turkmen says Eroglu won the elections because he rejects the single sovereignty, the single state and the cross voting

    Under the title To abandon the state is dishonour, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (05.05.10) reports that the Chairman of Turkish Cypriot Fighters Association (KTMD), Vural Turkmen, reiterated that a Cyprus settlement without the recognition of the sovereign existence of the Turkish Cypriots is not possible and added that the abandonment of the state is dishonour for the Turkish Cypriots.

    In a written statement, Turkmen said that the Cyprus President Christofias called on the newly elected Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu to accept and to honour the issues that they have agreed with former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat. Mr Vural noted that Eroglus mission is not to honour Talat or Christofias.

    Mr Turkmen noted that former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat lost in the presidential elections because the Turkish Cypriot people rejected his proposal for a single state, single sovereignty and cross voting.

    Mr Turkmen also said: Eroglu became a candidate because he was against these policies and became TRNC President by receiving the approval of the majority of the Turkish Cypriot people. The mission given to Eroglu by the peoples will is to negotiate to form a new partnership state on the equal political partnership of two peoples and two sovereign states.

    (DPs)

    [08] The inhabitants of occupied Louroudjina village want a crossing point in their area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (05.05.10) reports that the inhabitants of occupied Louroudjina village want a crossing point in their area. The paper writes that these people do not want to cover many kilometres in order to visit neighbouring Greek Cypriot villages which are only a few kilometres away from their village. The inhabitants of the village say that the opening of a crossing point in the area will be very useful for the development of Louroudjina.

    The paper writes that Louroudjina is one of the oldest villages of the island and that no investment has been made there since 1974. Many inhabitants of Louroudjina moved to occupied Lysi village and now only 400 persons live there. The paper reports that the inhabitants of Louroudjina can enter into their village only after passing from military control points.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Inflation in the occupied areas of Cyprus has risen

    Illegal Bayrak television (04.05.10) broadcast the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Inflation has risen 0.71 percent in April, says the [so-called] TRNC State Planning Organization. The cost of living in the TRNC was 4.86 % up in comparison with the same month last year.

    According to the figures released by the Organization, the biggest increase was recorded in the group of shoes and clothing, where prices went up by 11.66%.

    [10] Spanish official: No new chapters may be opened for Turkey during Spains EU Presidency

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.05.10) reported the following from Madrid:

    Director General of the Spanish government for EU and economic affairs, Alfonso Diez Torres, said Tuesday that no new chapters may be opened to negotiations with Turkey during Spain's EU term presidency that will end in June.

    In a seminar titled "Spain and Turkey: European Union and Beyond" and held at the Elcano Royal Institute in Madrid, Torres said there was a possibility that, despite an earlier promise made by Spain, four chapters may not be opened to negotiations with Turkey during Spain's EU term presidency.

    Spain has done all it can to open four chapters to negotiations. The obstacles placed by the Greek Cypriot administration, Greece and France and the inability of Turkey to make certain reforms may lead to the possibility that no new chapters may get opened to negotiations during Spain's EU term presidency, Torres underlined.

    There is a limit to the EU term presidency. Decisions in the EU are taken unanimously. We had a goal to open four chapters to negotiations with Turkey. Our inability to open these chapters to negotiations is not a failure since we made progress, Torres said.

    The speed of technical reforms is up to the Turkish government, Torres noted.

    Turkey is a big and strong country. Everybody knows that negotiations will take a long time. As such, Turkey's membership process would be much different from those of Latvia and Estonia. It is a reality that Turkey is facing discrimination (in the EU), Torres also said.

    Speaking at the seminar, EU Secretary General Ambassador Volkan Bozkir said that 'while there is a possibility that no chapter may be opened to negotiations during the Spanish EU term presidency, there is also hope that at least one chapter (on food security) may be opened to negotiations with Turkey in the next two months'.

    There are 35 chapters that Turkey needs to negotiate on for its EU membership. Twelve chapters have been opened to negotiations so far. Nineteen chapters have been blocked due to political reasons. There are four chapters that could be opened to negotiations now, Bozkir said. We have a new strategy. We will try to open these four chapters to negotiations. We plan to conclude negotiations on 19 chapters by the year 2013, Bozkir said. The world is going through a rapid change. The EU needs Turkey today more than ever before no matter how interdependent the two entities may be to each other, Bozkir stressed.

    Also speaking at the seminar, President of the Economic Development Foundation of Turkey, Haluk Kabaalioglu said that the visa regulations implemented against Turkish citizens were against 'EU laws and human rights'. The visa problem is encountered not only by Turkish businesspeople but also by students. There are cases when Turkish students wishing to study in the Netherlands as part of the Erasmus program are granted visas two months after their courses begin, Kabaalioglu stressed.

    Other speakers pointed out that the EU has not kept its promises made to the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) [the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus].

    [11] Turkish government official on Turkish-Israeli relations

    Under the title 'This cannot be normalized under current Israeli government', Turkish daily Todays Zaman newspaper (05.05.10) reports the following:

    Turkish government sources have stated that the normalization of ties between Turkey and Israel will be quite difficult under the current Benjamin Netanyahu government.

    As long as the current Israeli government stays in power, it seems very unlikely that relations between Turkey and Israel can normalize, said a government source speaking to Todays Zaman.

    The Turkish government has been trying to put relations back on track, the same source claimed, stating, however, that the Israeli government has not made any such effort to this end.

    Turkish-Israeli relations have further soured due to a recent vote by the Knesset giving the first go-ahead for a discussion on Armenian genocide claims. Turkey, which denies that the killings of Armenians in 1915 under the Ottoman Turks did not constitute genocide, warned Israel about the probable negative consequences if the issue proceeds any further.

    Israels Gaza offensive in December 2008 followed by its hard-line stance hardening the Middle East peace talks has continued to anger Turkey and prompted Ankara to slow down not only political ties but also military ties with Israel. Muslim Turkey and Jewish Israel have long enjoyed close military and defence procurement cooperation.

    Despite strained ties, dialogue between the two countries continues as Ambassador Feridun Sinirlioglu, undersecretary at the Turkish Foreign Ministry, visited Israel over the weekend for routine consultations.

    Turkish diplomatic sources referring to Sinirlioglus visit to Israel stated that though relations have been cool at the ministerial level, Turkey has been trying to keep political relations at a certain level. According to the same sources, Foreign Minister Avigdor Liebermans hard-line policies draw strong criticism not only from Turkey but also from its main ally the US as well as from Arab nations.

    However, Ankara is also aware of the fact that if it wants to mediate between Israel and Syria to help ease their conflict, it has to have good relations with both countries and both parties should trust Ankara.

    Subtitle: Israel to be excluded from Anatolian Eagle

    It is highly possible that Turkey will not allow Israel to take part in this years Anatolian Eagle exercises scheduled to be held between June 7 and 18 at the Central Anatolian town of Konya.

    The second multinational Anatolian Eagle exercises this year are supposed to take place between October 11 and 22. The Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) last week held the national leg of the Anatolian Eagle exercises.

    Turkey excluded Israel last October from the Anatolian Eagle exercises at the last minute, prompting Italy and the US to withdraw from those manoeuvres in response.

    Turkish diplomatic sources state that Israel is not expected to be allowed to take part in this years Anatolian Eagle exercises. 'Turkey does not want visible military cooperation with Israel', said the same sources.

    However, both Turkey and Israel continue their defence procurement cooperation. Turkeys Aselsan and Israels IMI have jointly proposed the sale of US-made M 60 tanks to Colombia.

    According to a story published by UK-based Janes Defence Weekly on April 30, the Colombian government and army are studying a range of solutions jointly offered by the IMI and Aselsan to fulfill the countrys requirement for a new main battle tank. Israel has recently completed the upgrade of 177 of Turkeys US-made main battle tanks.

    [12] The Turkish Parliament adopts amendment about the structure of the Constitutional Court

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (04.05.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    Turkish parliament adopted the amendment about structure of Turkey's top legal body, the Constitutional Court.

    A total of 410 MPs joined the second round vote on the 17th article of the constitutional amendment bill. 337 MPs voted in favour of the article, while 69 voted against it. Three MPs cast a blank vote and one abstained.

    The 17th article of the constitutional package amends the Article 146 of the Turkish Constitution about structure of the Constitutional Court. Under the amendment, the Constitutional Court will consist of 17 permanent members. Currently, the Constitutional Court has 11 permanent and four associate members.

    A total of 407 MPs joined the first round of voting on this article. 331 MPs voted in favour, 72 voted against it. Two MPs cast a blank vote and two votes were invalid in the first round.

    The ruling Justice and Development (AK) Party holds 336 seats in the parliament. However, the parliament speakers are not allowed to vote in the parliament which reduces potential votes in favour of the bill to 335. Both the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) and second opposition Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) declared they would not support the bill. Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) which criticised the amendment boycotted the voting in the first round.

    The articles and entirety of the bill needs to receive over 367 of the votes in order to be adopted. If it receives somewhere between 330 and 367 it will be put to referendum. If any of the articles receive less than 330 it will be automatically rejected. If during the voting of the package as a whole it receives less than 330, it will be rejected.

    The second round of the voting which began on May 2, Sunday will last until May 9. A total of 30 secret votes will be held in the second round. The amendment package will abolish the provisional article 15 of the constitution which does not allow trial of the members of the National Security Council formed after a coup in 1980. The bill will also abolish the ban on right to general strike; paves the way for a citizen to become a member of more than one union, and the civil servants and other public officials the right to collective bargaining. It also paves the way for trial of parliament speaker, chief of general staff, and senior commanders by the High Tribunal on charges of crimes they commit regarding their positions. If the bill is to be put to referendum, it is expected to be voted as a whole.

    [13] Turkish defence agency seeks to bolster private shipyards

    Under the above title, Turkish Daily News (04.05.10) reported the following from Ankara:

    As part of its efforts to manufacture indigenous surface warships, Turkey is attaching top priority to bolstering the capability of the country's private shipyards, procurement and industry officials said Monday.

    'We expect to see our shipyards develop capabilities to take part in our major surface warship programs', said a senior procurement official, speaking on condition of anonymity.

    Presently, one of the Turkish Navy's top projects is a program dubbed Milgem, which stands for 'national ship' in Turkish, to locally design, develop and produce at least eight corvettes worth around $2 billion.

    The first ship, the TCG Heybeliada, was put to sea in September 2008, and is expected to enter service next year after completion of systems integration and related tests. The vessel was manufactured at the Turkish Navy's Tuzla Shipyard near Istanbul. The production of a second Milgem corvette, the TCG Buyukada, is ongoing at Tuzla.

    Milgem is designed as a precursor of the larger TF-2000 project, Turkey's first planned national frigate program. The Navy is planning to buy six frigates worth over $3 billion. The first ship will be manufactured at the Tuzla military shipyard.

    Subtitle: Shipyard strategy

    'The general plan is to produce the first few Milgem and TF-2000 ships at Tuzla and then continue the building of the next vessels at private shipyards', said one industry official. 'The problem is that presently the Tuzla military shipyard is the only facility that has the capability to build Milgem corvettes and TF-2000 frigates. So the Turkish government wants at least one private shipyard to reach that capability'.

    The Undersecretariat for Defence Industries latest white paper for the Turkish defence industry, the 2009-2016 Strategy Document --released last year-- counted seven private shipyards that could potentially reach the corvette/frigate production level.

    They include RMK Marine, Dearsan, Istanbul Denizcilik, ADIK, Celik Tekne, Desan and Sedef, which are all based in Istanbul. 'We are closely observing the performances of these shipyards and are planning to choose four among them for future work' in the corvette/frigate category, said the procurement official.

    For the major surface warship programs, the Turkish side is planning to manufacture the ship and most of its systems and to do the systems integration. It will purchase the engine, some of the weapons systems and other critical high-technology components from foreign suppliers.

    Frigates and corvettes are smaller warships than cruisers and destroyers. As Turkey does not have coasts on oceans, its naval defence strategy is based on the principle of having frigates as its largest warships.

    'Currently, there is rivalry among private shipyards, but in the medium term, as some of them develop specific capabilities, we may see consolidation in the sector', said the industry official.

    Subtitle: New submarines

    Together with the TF-2000 and the Milgem, Turkey's largest naval program is jointly manufacturing with Germany at least four modern submarines. For the U-219 type submarines, the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries, or SSM, last summer signed a 2 billion-euro ($2.8 billion) contract with HDW Shipyards.

    The submarines mostly will be built at the Navy's Golcuk Shipyard, near Istanbul, and will be equipped with mainly German-made weapons and other systems. In the past Golcuk had been Turkey's largest military shipyard, but part of it was destroyed in a devastating earthquake in August 1999.

    'Still, Golcuk is Turkey's only shipyard with submarine capabilities and will remain so', said the industry official.

    The Turkish Navy's other modernization programs over the next 10 years include the planned purchase of a landing dock, mine hunters, assault boats, amphibious vessels, naval warfare helicopters and other ships.

    Traditionally, the Turkish Navy's largest supplier has been Germany. All Turkish submarines are German-built. The present frigate fleet is made up of U.S. and German ships. The Navy's most modern naval warfare helicopters are the U.S.-made S-70B Seahawks.

    /EI


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