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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Press and Other Media, 10-06-10

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. 107/10 10.06.10

[A] NEWS ITEMS

  • [01] Tension continues on the issue of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines; Turkish Minister describes Atlasjets proposal as opportunity
  • [02] Hurriyet Daily News describes as scandal the developments in the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines; Kucuk says CTA will not be privatized
  • [03] Serdar Denktas wants the Turkish Cypriot political leaders to have talks in Ankara about the future of the Turkish Cypriot airlines
  • [04] Ozersay reiterates that Christofias and Eroglu will meet on June 15
  • [05] Bagis will illegally visit the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [06] The programs of illegal BRT will be broadcasted in Australia
  • [07] A search and rescue military exercise will be held by Turkey and the breakaway regime in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on June 14-17
  • [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

  • [08] From the Turkish Press of 9 June 2010

  • [A] NEWS ITEMS

    [01] Tension continues on the issue of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines; Turkish Minister describes Atlasjets proposal as opportunity

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (10.06.10) reports that interesting developments took place yesterday on the debates regarding the tender for the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines (CTA), which have been turned in to chaos, according to the paper. The police arrested five employees of the CTA yesterday and launched an interrogation after the disappearance of the envelope with the proposal of Atlasjet Airlines the day before yesterday. The employees of the company marched against the occupied Lefkosia police headquarters to protest for the arrest and demanded the release of their colleagues. The arrested employees were released yesterday afternoon without being prosecuted.

    Meanwhile, Sahap Asikoglu, vice-president of the administrative council of the CTA, resigned yesterday showing as pretext the disappearance of the envelope with the proposal of Atlasjet.

    Furthermore, three political parties and 14 trade unions met yesterday after the developments regarding the tender for the illegal CTA and decided to establish an action committee.

    Moreover, the Turkish Minister of Transportation, Binali Yildirim has described as opportunity the proposal submitted by Atlasjet for the CTA. Mr Yildirim was asked to comment on the developments yesterday at Istanbuls Ataturk Airport after his fly from Ankara. He noted that the CTA is facing difficulties and added that no one should expect Turkey to manage the affairs of the CTA. He pointed out that Turkey provides the necessary support for the survival of the company and said: Securing safety in the CTA and implementing the technical principles is important for us. As you know, the airplanes of the Turkish Airlines as well are registered by the Turkish Civil Aviation. Therefore, the responsibility belongs to the Directorate of the Turkish Civil Aviation. From this point of view, we are concerned with the issue. However, no one should forget the following: There is nothing to be given away, nothing for which favor will be done. There is a debt of 130 million liras and on the other hand there is a company which faces difficulties to manage its business. If someone comes and say I am coming in these conditions and I want to be your partner for finding a solution, I think that this is an opportunity. I think that this opportunity should be evaluated.

    Finally, under the title Saner: The proposal of Atlasjet will be discussed, Kibris (10.06.10) reports that Ersan Saner, self-styled minister of public works and transport, said yesterday that his government is not in favor of the proposal made by Hava Sen trade union which met with TAV company in Turkey and expressed the view that the illegal Tymvou airport should be privatized and given to TAV and the self-styled government should use the money it will take from the privatization for overcoming the difficulties in the CTA. Mr Saner noted that the privatization of such an important project as illegal Tymvou airport without a tender is something which his government could not accept.

    Mr Saner reminded that in May the council of ministers decided that a partner should be found for the illegal CTA and added that during the past few years the company was losing nearly 50 million Turkish liras annually, while its current debt is more than 100 million US dollars. He noted that the self-styled government and Turkey granted 42.1 million Turkish liras to the CTA since May 2009 in order for the company to continue being breakaway regimes national carrier. He said that they established that the most valuable assets of the CTA were its immovable property and its rights to fly. He noted that they opened a tender which ended on 07 June 2010 with the aim of the CTA to continue having its rights to fly and pointed out that the only reason for which the period of the tender was so short is the fact that if CTA lost one of its five airplanes and the number of its airplanes was decreased to four, it would lose the right to carry out scheduled flights. He reminded that they invited to the tender eight companies from Turkey, but only Atlasjet submitted a proposal. Mr Saner said that according to a decision taken by the council of ministers on 08 June 2010, the administrative council of the illegal CTA will discuss with Atlasjet the latters proposal and reach an agreement.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Hurriyet Daily News describes as scandal the developments in the illegal Turkish Cypriot Airlines; Kucuk says CTA will not be privatized

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News newspaper (online, 10.06.10), under the title Weird tale of Cyprus Turkish Airlines bid that vanished, reports the following:

    Under the threat of bankruptcy, KTHY, the airline company of northern Cyprus, is seeking a management partner, but the first big step toward that goal on Tuesday was embroiled in scandal, after the only bid, which came from Turkey's AtlasJet, was not found in the bidding box. The airline's deputy chairman has resigned, while five employees were taken into custody.

    An official bid conducted to find a management partner for crisis-stricken Cyprus Turkish Airlines, or KTHY, triggered a major scandal Tuesday when the envelope that included the only bid was 'lost' afterwards.

    KTHY, the national airline of northern Cyprus, is on the verge of bankruptcy and has a debt burden of around $100 million. The airline executives hoped Tuesday's bidding would find a management partner for the company for a term of five years.

    Despite eight applications to receive specifications, the only bid came from Turkey's AtlasJet, a private airline company. Company officials had put the envelope that included their offer into the bidding box in front of a notary at KTHY's headquarters in Nicosia. However, as KTHY board members met to open the envelope, they could not find it.

    As there was no official explanation to the 'vanishing act, ' the scandal had cost a seat to at least one board member as Hurriyet Daily News & Economic Review went to press.

    Sahap Asikoglu, the deputy board chairman of KTHY, submitted his resignation on Wednesday. 'I cannot accept this neither as a Turkish Cypriot nor as a board member, ' Anatolia news agency quoted Asikoglu as saying. 'This should not have happened. I am resigning as I think I will not be (useful for the company) anymore.'

    The Turkish Cypriot police also arrested five KTHY employees as part of an investigation launched into the incident.

    In an extraordinary meeting after the bid 'vanished, ' the Turkish Cypriot Cabinet decided to launch talks with AtlasJet on its offer to become a management partner of the troubled airline.

    Previously a Turkish Airlines unit, KTHY was purchased by the northern Cyprus government in 2005 for $33 million. As the company was nearing insolvency, THY Teknik, the maintenance arm of Turkish Airlines, put a lien of $700,000 against the company as it was not paid for its services.

    In a statement, Murat Ersoy, the AtlasJet chairman, said: The KTHY brand must live.

    If this brand is hurt, all investments in Cyprus would be hurt,' he said. 'Thus, we have offered a cooperation that would help realize the continuation of the current operation.'

    Subtitle: Burden on taxpayers

    Speaking to journalists, Irsen Kucuk, the prime minister of northern Cyprus, said KTHY had received a government injection of 41.5 million Turkish Liras in the past year, but it has not reached the 'desired position' yet.

    'KTHY cannot go on like this, ' he said, adding that 10 million liras of the injection came from Turkey, while the airline received permission to borrow 5 million liras from the Near East University. The prime minister also said the airline had received an injection of $15 million from the government in 2007. 'None of this came back.'

    Reminded of warnings by the Democrat Party and the Freedom and Reform Party that they would pull their support from the government if KTHY is privatized, Kucuk said the process was not about privatization, but about a five-year quest to find a partner.

    In his statement, AtlasJet's Ersoy said KTHY is at a loss due to 'a loss of control, ' adding that it was not possible for an airline that had only five jets to post an annual loss of $50 million.

    KTHY owns five jets and has leased another one. It employs 670 people and has representative offices in Turkey, Britain and Germany.

    'Ours is a project to strengthen this company in five years and then give it back, ' Ersoy said. 'Who could dare to do this? In the end, it was only us who bid. We entered the process because we have serious investments in Cyprus, and we cannot risk them.'

    AtlasJet will also push the button this week on northern Cyprus' biggest tourism project with an investment of nearly $100 million, Ersoy said.

    'For the island to have a sound future, the KTHY brand must live, ' he said. 'This is the biggest reason behind our bid, not because the project is attractive or profitable.'

    The AtlasJet executive also said KTHY is 'losing at least $1 million for each day lost '.

    [03] Serdar Denktas wants the Turkish Cypriot political leaders to have talks in Ankara about the future of the Turkish Cypriot airlines

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris newspaper (10.06.10) reports that the Democratic Party (DP) of Serdar Denktas has decided to suggest to the self-styled prime minister of the occupation regime, Irsen Kucuk, that the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot political parties should go to Ankara and discuss with the Turkish government the developments regarding the Turkish Cypriot airlines. DP took this decision yesterday during a three-hour meeting of the partys central committee in which the issue of the Turkish Cypriot airlines and DPs support towards the minority government of the National Unity Party (UBP) were discussed.

    Speaking after the meeting, DPs chairman, Serdar Denktas, stated that Mr Kucuk must make an appointment with officials in Turkey and all the leaders of the Turkish Cypriot parties should go to Ankara and make their suggestions as regards the Turkish Cypriot airlines. Mr Denktas stated that he will present the partys decision to Mr Kucuk today.

    Referring to the withdrawal of DPs support to the UBPs minority government, Mr Denktas stated that for the time being they postponed the decision on the issue. As he said they will discuss this issue in length soon.

    (CS)

    [04] Ozersay reiterates that Christofias and Eroglu will meet on June 15

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.06.10) reports the following from occupied Lefkosia:

    Turkish Cypriot and Greek Cypriot leaders will continue their talks aiming to find a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue on June 15.

    Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) President Dervis Eroglu and the Greek Cypriot Leader Demetris Christofias will meet on June 15 to discuss 'property' issue.

    Eroglu's special envoy Kudret Ozersay met with Christofias's special envoy Yorgos Yakovou on Wednesday. Ozersay said he had a fruitful meeting that lasted for one and a half hours with Yakovou.

    [05] Bagis will illegally visit the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.06.10) broadcast the following:

    Turkish Minister of State Chief Negotiator for talks with the European Union Egemen Bagis will arrive in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus tomorrow for a series of contacts. During the one day visit, Mr. Bagis will meet with President Dervis Eroglu, Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk and Foreign Minister Huseyin Ozgurgun.

    According to a statement issued by the Turkish Embassy, the Turkish Minister will visit the Republic to attend the graduation ceremony of the Girne [occupied Keryneia] American University during which he will also receive an honorary doctorate.

    [06] The programs of illegal BRT will be broadcasted in Australia

    Illegal Bayrak television (09.06.10) broadcast the following:

    A three year cooperation protocol has been signed between Bayrak Radio Television Corporation and Turk-Plus, the first and only Turkish television channel in Australia. BRT Director Ozel Kanli said that the protocol will make it possible for the corporation to carry its voice to Australia.

    Kanli reminded that the Cyprus Turkish people establish its own state, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus at the end of a hard struggle with the support of Motherland Turkey.

    Pointing out that many Cyprus Turks are living far away from their homeland, he said 'BRT is the voice of all Cyprus Turks, both those living in their home and those away from their homeland'.

    Zorlu Kaya, the founder of Turk-Plus, for his part, said that the corporation was founded with the aim of making it possible for Turks to follow the developments in their country and to establish ties with their brothers in the TRNC. 'Our cooperation will continue forever', he said.

    [07] A search and rescue military exercise will be held by Turkey and the breakaway regime in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea on June 14-17

    Under the title, Four days that will heat up the Mediterranean, Turkish daily Sabah newspaper (10.06.10) reports that a search and rescue military exercise will be jointly organised by Turkey and the occupation regime between June 14-17 in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea. As the paper writes, the above-mentioned manoeuvre, which is organized in the international waters between occupied Keryneia and Famagusta regularly every year, this year is expected to move southern.

    This year, one frigate, one corvette and one patrol vessel of the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK), as well as one underwater demolition team (SAT) will participate in the manoeuvre, which aims to the improvement of the search and rescue elements of Turkey and the TRNC (the breakaway regime in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus). According to the paper, the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the Northern sea Area commander Vice Admiral Kadir Sagdic will be among the observers to watch the manoeuvre.

    (EA)


    [B] COMMENTARIES, EDITORIALS AND ANALYSIS

    [08] From the Turkish Press of 9 June 2010

    Following are the summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 9 June 2010:

    a) Turkish-Israeli Relations:

    Examining Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's "zero-problems-with-neighbors" doctrine and the view that the Justice and Development Party (AKP), is transforming Turkey into a bridge between the West and the East in an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Burak Bekdil calls on Davutoglu to explain "how Turkey, now officially and practically aligned with Iran, Syria, Hamas and Hezbollah, will build a region as peaceful as a pagoda." Proposing that all those Western diplomats, who wholeheartedly believed in the West-East bridge tale be retired or sent to the remotest regions of the globe, Bekdil argues that Turkey cannot be an honest broker between Israel and HAMAS or between Israel and Syria.

    In an article in Milliyet, Hasan Cemal writes that Erdogan's anti-Israel rhetoric has raised the following questions in Washington: Is Turkey turning its face from the West toward the East? Is Turkey on the path to Iranization? Is the Turkish foreign policy acquiring an Islamist spirit in the hands of the Erdogan-Davutoglu duo? Has the secret Islamist agenda begun to surface? Noting that Turkey is obligated to make Israel account for its piracy, Cemal, however, warns the government against upsetting the balances in foreign policy that might adversely affect Turkey's interests.

    Questioning whether the Turkish government is aware that an international committee that will investigate the aid flotilla incidents will also look into the relations between the AKP and the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH) in an article in Milliyet, Semih Idiz writes: "The perception that the IHH is not an 'NGO' but is 'an anti-Israeli Islamist organization protected by the government' is spreading in the West." Noting that an international committee will reflect these views with the support of the United States that is guided by its instinct to protect Israel and to show its reaction against Erdogan, Idiz writes: "It is doubtful whether Turkey can trust the other permanent members of the UN Security Council, such as Russia and China, on the issue. According to what we have heard, Moscow that is 'sensitive about Chechnya and Dagestan' and Beijing that is 'sensitive about East Turkistan' do not sympathize with the IHH which they perceive as a 'provocative Islamist action group.'" Diplomatic circles that we have contacted are of the opinion that these two countries are also in favor of exposing the relations between the AKP and the IHH, adds Idiz. In conclusion, Idiz argues that Erdogan, instead of calming the public, has chosen to increase the tension at the expense of Turkey's long-term interests, underlining that it is clear as daylight that this issue will not be concluded in line with Erdogan's wishes.

    Drawing attention to the differences in the perceptions of Washington and Ankara on whether HAMAS is a terrorist organization in an article in Hurriyet, Cuneyt Ulsever writes that Turkey and the United States no longer hesitate in expressing their opposing views on issues that deeply affect both countries. Some might think that the government should be applauded for generating independent policies against the United States, notes Ulsever, adding: "However, the government does not deserve this applause! Because the AKP government during the Ahmet Davutoglu period insistently generated foreign policies that claim to be a close US ally as well as its representative in the Middle East!" The writer concludes by challenging Davutoglu's remarks that the foreign policy choices and priorities of President Obama and Turkey fully overlap.

    An international struggle is being waged to end the blockade on Gaza, writes Sabah columnist Bulent Aras in an article, adding that the United Nations, the Arab League, the Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC), and many international aid and refugee associations are part of this international coalition waging this struggle. Conceding that this struggle has not been very successful in generating solutions for Gaza, Aras adds that, however, it has led to serious consequences for Israel. Noting that Israel's participation in international forums is gradually getting more difficult, Aras details the diplomatic efforts Turkey has been undertaking to impose a boycott on Israel. Turkey's emergence in the front line of the Gaza cause has two reasons, writes Aras, explaining that the first one is to protect the rights of the Turkish citizens killed aboard the flotilla and the second is that Turkey is the architect of and a major player in the new world order being created in line with international law and the principle of legitimacy.

    Citing all the questions the opposition parties have been asking the AKP government with regards to the aid flotilla and the subsequent developments in an article in Vatan, Hikmet Bila says that so long as all these questions are not answered the government's speeches directed against Israel will be suspended in the air. If the government calculations are based on domestic politics, then there is another question that needs to be answered, writes Bila, asking whether threatening Israel and extending open support to HAMAS and defending it more fervently than the Arabs themselves will be beneficial in domestic politics. Pointing out that not even one of the vessels in the flotilla was able to reach Gaza, Bila continues: "In the international arena, with the exception of certain civilian protests, no initiative has been taken against Israel; on the contrary, 'Israel's security' has been stressed at every opportunity." In conclusion, Bila writes that the image of a Turkey that roars but cannot take action will, above all, damage the image of those governing Turkey and will not bring more votes.

    In an article entitled "Why is Israel targeting Iskenderun?", Yeni Safak columnist Ibrahim Karagul slams "Israeli sources" for "complaining to the world" about what they describe as a newly installed air defense system in the Turkish coastal town of Iskenderun intended to intercept potential Israeli strikes and protect Syria and Hizballah against attacks from Israel. After criticizing Israel sharply for its "preposterous" objections to Turkey "adopting security precautions in its own area of sovereignty," Karagul asks Israel "whether it was not you who used Turkish airspace to bomb Syria on 16 September 2007 ... killed 40 people in an aerial assault on a convoy on Sudanese soil last February ... attacked a Turkish vessel in the Mediterranean Sea ... the same night you attacked a naval base in Iskenderun and martyred seven Turkish soldiers," etc.

    In an article entitled "Thanks Palestine, thanks India", Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak asserts that Israel's military operation against the Gaza flotilla has already backfired by causing it to be excluded from the Nabucco project and leading the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) to decide to investigate Israel's nuclear capacity. He claims that increased international pressures on Israel are set to pave the way for an ethical debate on Israel's policies within Israel that will have political, social, and cultural results, adding that this is the first time that Zionism has come to the fore as a "problematic and culpable concept."

    b) Domestic issues:

    In an article in Milliyet, Fikret Bila views the Constitutional Court ruling accepting an appeal made by the Republican People's Party (CHP) to examine the constitutional amendment package on procedural and methodological grounds. Viewing the various procedural and methodological aspects of the issue, Bila explains that the Court will also examine the CHP claim that the unchangeable articles of the Constitution are being altered in the package, adding that the CHP appeal is based on the assumption that Article 4 of the Constitution regarding the unchangeable articles of the Constitution constitutes a procedural condition.

    Speculating on what will happen in the event the Constitutional Court rules that the constitutional amendments are in violation of the Constitution in his article in Milliyet, Mehmet Tezkan predicts that elections and not a referendum will be held on September 12. If the Constitutional Court cancels the articles amending the new structure of the Constitutional Court and the structure of the High Council of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK) Erdogan will challenge both the CHP and the high court and will hold general elections, writes Tezkan.

    Viewing the election of Kilicdaroglu to the CHP leadership and the messages being conveyed by Abdullah Ocalan as part of a plan to liquidate Erdogan in an article in Star, Samil Tayyar argues that every time efforts have been intensified to resolve the Kurdish issue governments have been targeted. Making a comparison of the past and present situations, Tayyar arrives at the conclusion that those who had the power to liquidate in the past have, to a great extent, lost that capacity. The search for a solution was nothing other than a dream for the leaders in the past, where as today it is a state policy , writes Tayyar, adding that the PKK, which was an international tool in the past, is seen as an impediment today. Underlining the current position of Turkey as a geostrategic player and as an energy corridor, Tayyar writes: "A Pentagon-centered plan cooked through the cooperation of the Mossad and the PKK and supported by Ergenekon cannot yield results on its own. Provocative actions might increase, closure cases might be filed, attempts might be made to impose a political ban, and unimaginable scenarios might be generated; however, all will be in vain."

    In an article entitled "The Constitutional Court's first ruling", Yeni Safak columnist Fehmi Koru describes the Constitutional Court's decision to adjudicate the Republican People's Party's appeal against the constitutional amendment package on a procedural basis as a ruling that, while not entirely satisfactory, represents a "step forward" in the sense that the top court has recognized the limits of its authority as a body that is not empowered to try such cases on their merits.

    In an article entitled "Where is the goal, who are the opposing players?" Zaman columnist Mustafa Unal asserts that the legitimacy of the Constitutional Court's decision to adjudicate the CHP's appeal against the constitutional reforms is questionable because the constitutional reform process will not be complete until after the amendment has been put to referendum and the top court should have duly deferred adjudicating the case at this point. He also claims that any scenarios are possible despite the Constitutional Court's decision to make a ruling on the appeal based on procedural matters because the court has a known record for issuing merits-based rulings.

    /EI


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