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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-08-17

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 CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 155/10 17.08.10

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Turkish Cypriot leader on the negotiations
  • [02] Erdogan notes that Turkey is one-step ahead of Cyprus
  • [03] Angolemli declines cooperation with UBP; Tatar sees a UBP-TDP coalition government
  • [04] Tore: No future if we do not become owners of our land
  • [05] Poor image of TRNC causes reduction in university students
  • [06] Columnists argue that Eroglus statements on the Cyprus settlement are not clear
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [07] Turkish President pays state visit to Azerbaijan
  • [08] Gul denies Financial Times news report regarding a warning by President Obama
  • [09] AKP government plans to change its Cyprus policy
  • [10] Highlights: 16 August 2010

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The public address of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on the negotiations as well as Erdogans statements on the Cyprus problem are the main topics in todays Turkish Cypriot press. The papers also continue to cover the debate on the possibility of a coalition government in the occupied areas.

    [01] Turkish Cypriot leader on the negotiations

    According to illegal Bayrak television (online 16.08.10), in a public address on the course of the Cyprus negotiations, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu stated that If both sides show the necessary political will and leadership, then it might be possible to resolve the Cyprus problem by the end of this year. In his address, Eroglu underlined the need to follow a mutual constructive approach towards achieving a fair solution in Cyprus. As earlier stressed by the United Nations, the end of this year is a turning point for the Cyprus issue. That is to say, there is a natural time frame for a settlement, although the Greek Cypriot side rejects time restrictions, Eroglu said. He also emphasized that a possible settlement must consider as its basis the two constituent states of equal status.

    On the Property Chapter, which is the current chapter of the negotiations, Eroglu said that any progress to be achieved on this thorny issue will bring momentum to the solution process. Yet, he said, there has not been any significant progress. Our primary principle on Property is bi-zonality, which has become a UN parameter, Eroglu said, adding that it is necessary to restrict the return of properties so as not to destroy the main principle that each community will rule one constituent state. Eroglu noted that leaving the final decision on Property to individuals can bring chaos. He said that the recent rulings of the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on related cases have seriously strengthened the Turkish Cypriot proposals on Property. Dervis Eroglu said he believes that it will be possible to come up with more concrete proposals on this chapter in September, as the two sides have already discussed their mutual expectations and concerns. He also reiterated the Turkish Cypriot sides full cooperation with motherland Turkey in resuming the negotiations process.

    On the issue of the Direct Trade Regulation, Eroglu said the implementation of the Regulation will not mean the lifting of the isolation of the TRNC, but will be a step forward. Such initiatives will also encourage the Greek Cypriot side to follow a more positive stance, he added.

    Eroglu added that establishing a bi-zonal, bi-communal partnership is difficult, but not impossible. He concluded his public address by stating that he will in no way allow the people of the TRNC to go through the experience of the pre-1974 period again, and promised to protect the rights acquired.

    [02] Erdogan notes that Turkey is one-step ahead of Cyprus

    Illegal Bayrak television (online 16.08.10) reported on statements by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, during a fast breaking meal he attended in Gaziantep. Erdogan said Turkey´s efforts aim to improve its relations with every country, irrespective of language, race or nationality.

    Pointing out that the Turkish side is one-step ahead of the Greek Cypriot side regarding the Cyprus issue, he said that, unfortunately, previous governments failed to follow the right policies and the Turkish side has always been the loser. He also stressed that the international community could no longer blame the Turkish side. We did our part in the 2004 referendum but the Greek Cypriot side was deceitful, therefore no one should expect more from us. It is the last chance for the Greek Cypriot side to take the necessary steps for an agreement, otherwise they will not be able to continue the negotiations with us, Erdogan added.

    Moreover, Turkish daily Todays Zaman (T.Z) newspaper (17.08.10) highlights Erdogan´s speech on Sunday at a fast-breaking dinner in Ankara, in which he lashed out at critics of the Mass at Sumela, saying their arguments were counter-acted by the peaceful atmosphere at the historic church. We are determined to maintain our good ties with all nations. We have to do it. Christians visited Sumela Monastery and performed a religious service there. So what happened? What did we lose? On the contrary, we are winning, he said.

    Erdogan also expressed his governments intention to be a pioneer in cementing friendly relations with other countries. We will also take a step forward. We pursued the same policy in Cyprus, too. We said we would take the first step with the Greek Cypriots. What did we lose? he asked.

    [03] Angolemli declines cooperation with UBP; Tatar sees a UBP-TDP coalition government

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (17.08.10), the deputy of Social Democrat Party (TDP) Huseyin Angolemli, evaluating the possibility UBP-TDP coalition, said that this is not appropriate time, looking at the actions of the National Unity Party (UBP).

    He also said that the rights of workers and pensioners, as well as culture and democracy are very sensitive issues for TDP, and in this context, a coalition government is out of question. Referring to previous partnership with UBP in 2000, Angolemli said that they have already burnt once.

    On the same issue, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.08.10), under the title A coalition with TDP is possible, refers to the statements by self-styled minister of finance Ersin Tatar on local television channel Kibris TV.

    Assessing the latest political developments in the occupied areas, Tatar said that a coalition government is possible with TDP, which has three seats in parliament. He added that a party with three seats should also be assigned a ministry.

    Replying to a question whether there is an alternative apart from TDP, Tatar said there could be a coalition with the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), but not with the Democratic Party (DP).

    (DPs)

    [04] Tore: No future if we do not become owners of our land

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (17.08.10) Zorlu Tore, the so-called minister of Agriculture and Natural Resources in the occupied areas, speaking during a meeting with the Movement for Bright Future (Aydinlik Yarinlar Hareketi), said that in order to reach a bright future we have to protect our land, our flag and our people. He said that Greek Cypriots play games upon the population by dividing it into Cypriot and Turkish and try to dissolve the Turkish Cypriot people. Moreover, he said that the Greek Cypriots´ only purpose is to become owners of the whole island.

    (IS)

    [05] Poor image of TRNC causes reduction in university students

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (17.08.10) reports that the number of students enrolling in the illegal Universities in the occupied areas is decreasing. According to the newspaper, 8,143 students enrolled in 2008 and 4,273 in 2009. This year 3,940 students enrolled although the total positions offered were 17,000. Speaking to Kibris TV, rectors and officials of the universities supported the view that the main reasons for the reduction is the poor image of TRNC created in Turkey and that, compared to Turkey, the TRNC is more expensive. They also pointed out that the number of universities in Turkey is rising quickly and rents in the TRNC are uncontrolled reaching astronomical levels.

    (IS)

    [06] Columnists argue that Eroglus statements on the Cyprus settlement are not clear

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (17.08.10), in its front-page editorial under the headline Always the same giddy, comments on the public address yesterday by Dervis Eroglu. The newspaper points out that Eroglu, on the one hand says that he is participating in the negotiations for peace and solution and on the other, he is saying that a bi-zonal, bi-communal partnership --based on political equality, and with two founding states of equal status-- is difficult but not impossible to achieve. This, the editorial argues, manages to cause confusion.

    According to the newspaper, in his speech, following the format of the public addresses in Turkey, Eroglu demonstrated that this historic journey, which has been continuing for many years and has achieved no progress for the Cyprus issue, will continue.

    Commenting on the latest statements by Eroglu and Erdogan, Hasan Hasturer, columnist in Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (17.08.10), wonders which path the Turkish Cypriot side and Turkey will follow if there is not a settlement of the Cyprus problem by the end of the year. He asks whether the Turkish Cypriot sides path is recognition of the TRNC. He also suggests that if the Turkish Cypriots consume their energy on the negotiation table instead on propaganda and if they evaluate well the tendencies of international public opinion, then we will not run the risk of being the ones to suffer or be the losers.

    (IS/DPs)


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Top stories in todays Turkish press are the alleged ultimatum by Obama to Erdogan, and President Guls visit to Azerbaijan. The papers also report that an earthquake of 7 degrees in the Richter scale is expected to hit the Marmara region in Turkey noting that nothing has been done over the past 11 years. The taking over of the Ankara Natural Gas Distribution Company by MMEKA is also among the main issues in the papers.

    [07] Turkish President pays state visit to Azerbaijan

    Ankara Anatolia (A.A) news agency (16.08.10) reported from Baku on a meeting of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul with his Azerbaijani counterpart Ilham Aliyev. Speaking to the press after their meeting, President Gul said that the Caucasus must be turned into a region of stability and cooperation. In order to realize this goal, the problem of Upper Karabakh must be resolved by preserving the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan, Gul stressed. The issue of Upper Karabakh has been alive for the past 18 years and it should not continue. For this reason, we have to talk and use diplomacy to solve the matter within the territorial integrity of Azerbaijan. The occupation of land of a country, shown in the United Nations map, is against international laws and cannot be tolerated, Gul noted.

    Asked if the issue of visa liberalization came up during the talks, President Gul said the issue was discussed and that the competent institutions of the two countries will continue the discussion.

    On Turkish-Armenian relations, President Gul said that the problems in the Caucasus must be resolved through peaceful means. Resolving the problems will lead to greater cooperation, the opening up of the borders, the construction of new highways and bigger economic activities. Big problems can be solved by silent diplomacy and this is how we will solve the problems of the region, Gul also said.

    Moreover, according to A.A. news agency from Istanbul, prior to his departure for Azerbaijan, President Gul said peace, stability and prosperity in southern Caucasus is one of Turkeys priorities. Turkey monitors closely all developments in southern Caucasus and contributes to the efforts to ensure comprehensive and sustainable peace in the region.

    Energy is one of the areas Turkey-Azerbaijan relations are improving and turning these relations into strategic cooperation. Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and Baku-Tbilisi-Erzurum natural gas pipeline are the most important parts of the cooperation between the two countries. These two projects also contribute to global energy safety and regional prosperity and stability. Another project improving our commercial relations is Baku-Tbilisi-Kars railway line. The project began in 2007 and is expected to conclude in 2012, Gul said.

    President Gul said that he would attend the inauguration of the headquarters of the Azer-Turk Bank, which was established by Turkey's Ziraat Bankasi and Agrarcredit CJS NBCO (former Joint Stock Commercial Agrarsenaye Bank of Azerbaijan), and a steel factory constructed by a Turkish company. He will later proceed to the city of Sheki, a symbol of the Turkic world.

    As A.A. reported, Turkey and Azerbaijan signed the Commercial and Economic Cooperation Agreement in 1992, and the agreement to encourage mutual investments in 1994. The two countries also signed the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement in 2007. Trade volume between the two countries was calculated as 2.59 billion USD in 2008. Turkish exports to Azerbaijan amounted to 1.66 billion USD while its imports were 925 million USD.

    [08] Gul denies Financial Times news report regarding a warning by President Obama

    Turkish daily Todays Zaman (T.Z) newspaper (17.08.10) refers to a news report by the Financial Times (FT) on Sunday that the US President Barack Obama has personally warned Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, that his government risks not obtaining some of the weapons it wants from the US if it does not change its position on Iran and Israel. According to the FT, the warning came during a meeting in Toronto at the G-20 gathering in late June, just weeks after the flotilla incident with Israel and Turkeys no vote against sanctions on Iran.

    According to T.Z, speaking to journalists aboard a plane en route to Azerbaijan on Monday, President Abdullah Gul denied such a warning and said some people were disturbed by Turkeys new activism in foreign policy. I would have known about it had there been such a warning, he said. There is no problem in our relations with the US. Turkey has been pursuing a constructive policy in every field. Turkey as some were used to, no longer exists. Instead, there is a Turkey that plays an active role in many processes. This is puzzling for some.

    [09] AKP government plans to change its Cyprus policy

    In an editorial in Todays Zaman under the above headline, Emre Uslu maintains that Turkish leaders, frustrated with the attitude adopted by the EU and Cyprus, are seriously reconsidering their current policies. The first signal to that effect came from Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu in a statement in May underlining that Turkey would open all of its ports to Greek Cyprus if the world and the EU opened two ports and an airport to Turkish Cyprus. It was clear, the writer argues, that Turkey was using this position as a bargaining chip.

    According to reliable sources Uslu says, the AKP government is reconsidering its position and thinking about altering it by the end of September or the beginning of October. Moreover, it is added, sources close to the Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek confirm that Turkey is preparing to launch a new diplomatic initiative towards international recognition of Turkish Cyprus. The reason the AKP may be planning to alter its policy is because of their frustration with the EU. Cicek, on more than one occasion, has himself mentioned that they are seriously considering launching such an initiative. Asked about such a possibility, Huseyin Celik, AK Party deputy chairman stated Turkey will not be the one leaving the negotiating table; yet, it appears that things cannot go on like this forever. By this statement, Celik referred to the deadlock and signalled a possible change, Uslu argues.

    Uslu recalls Turkeys chief European Union negotiator, Egemen Bagis, call to the EU to remain loyal to its commitments, a position reiterated in his letter to The Times.

    The editorial cites foreign observers as saying that it would be a grave mistake for Turkey to adopt such policy and that it would backfire. Yet, it is added, Turkish diplomatic sources seem to think Turkey will be left no option if the Greek Cypriots continue to block Turkeys path to the EU. Diplomatic circles in Ankara believe that while Turkey is promoting negotiations, it must also continue to prepare the groundwork for possible diplomatic recognition of the Turkish Cyprus. The purpose of this strategy would be to put pressure on the Greek side to come to a reasonable agreement. As a first step, it would be enough to allow the Turkish side to have recognized observer status in international organizations.

    [10] Highlights: 16 August 2010

    a) Interview with Rauf Denktas

    In an interview to Utku Cakirozer in Cumhuriyet, former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas expresses concern about the aggressive style adopted by the Turkish leaders and adds: "It is almost as if Turkey is getting ready for a civil war". Arguing that the Israeli lobby no longer supports the Turkish Cypriots' claims in Britain and the United States due to the deteriorating ties between Turkey and Israel, Denktas underlines that Turkey's stand on Iran will also urge the United States to abandon the Cyprus issue. Denktas also draws attention to the investments made by Arab countries in Cyprus. In conclusion Denktas stresses that a solution will not be found in Cyprus by fall and urges Turkey to make efforts for the recognition of the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus".

    b) Cease-fire announced by PKK

    Fatih Cekirge in Hurriyet stresses that the cease-fire is important because it strengthens the government in its efforts to resolve the problem. Calling for cutting the operations, Cekirge also draws attention to the importance of enabling Ahmet Turk, politically-banned former leader of the Democratic Society Party, to play an active role in the process. Also referring to the importance of the meeting between Turk and Mas'ud Barzani in northern Iraq, Cekirge says: "The Ahmet Turk-Barzani meeting, the fact that Turk and Aysel Tugluk were elected co-chairmen of the Democratic Society Congress, and the cease-fire decision reached by Imrali, show that a new process has begun in terms of the overture. Furthermore, this may even carry the BDP's call for boycotting the referendum to a new line".

    Ferai Tinc in Hurriyet maintains that PKK's latest cease-fire decision shows that it has started to take public opinion into account and argues that the increase of the popularity of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in the Kurdish region has been effective in this decision. Regardless of the reasons behind the decision, the cease-fire gives the peace efforts a chance, emphasizes Ferai Tinc and says: "... together with the institutions that were able to take action for requesting a cease-fire from the PKK, Turkey's administrators should courageously assume responsibility for paving the path for true democracy and putting an end to a painful era".

    Ferai Tinc in Hurriyet says that PKK had chosen to ignore the call for the cease-fire, and cites security forces as saying that Ocalan no longer controls the daily functioning of the PKK and that the PKK leadership in Qandil uses Ocalan as a symbol for mobilizing the Kurdish people. Most probably, the PKK leadership mounted violence in order to motivate the organization and to draw the attention of "dark actors" and international powers, following the Mavi Marmara incident, and Turkey's vote against the sanctions on Iran in the UN Security Council, argues Aydintasbas.

    Vatan hosts an interview by Ahmet Turk to Hale Gonultas, in which he underlines that it is necessary to put the cease-fire process into good use and calls on the United Nations to assume a role for the solution of the Kurdish issue.

    Murat Yetkin in Radikal argues that Ocalan's latest statement shows the bargaining between the PKK and the government, and says that if the operations are stopped, if the Kurdish politicians who have been detained within the framework of the Assembly of Communities of Kurdistan (KCK), operations are released, if the 10% election threshold is reduced, and if Ocalan is enabled to actively participate in the peace process, the Kurds will vote in favour of the amendment package. "This demand, which is the easiest and which will be supported by broad masses because it is not directly linked to the Kurdish problem, may be the most risky demand for the AKP from the political standpoint", argues Yetkin.

    c) Referendum on constitutional amendment package / Mudslinging between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu

    Rahmi Turan in Hurriyet asserts that if the majority of the people vote in favour of the amendment package, "the AKP will control the entire country, from top to bottom", and wonders "what will happen to democracy, the secular republic, individual freedoms, and the rights under those circumstances. This is such an important vote that it may lead to the end of the republic!"

    Joost Lagendijk in Hurriyet Daily News criticizes Prime Minister Erdogan and Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu for converting the referendum campaign into a personal fight. This fight raises social tension and creates anger and polarization, Lagendijk points out and stresses that their style harms democracy.

    Vakit columnist Hasan Aksay argues that a majority yes vote in the forthcoming referendum on the constitutional amendment package is needed to prevent the army from staging coups in cooperation with Masonic lodges, to prevent the military Establishment from "traitorously" classifying certain groups as "internal enemies" or branding Muslim entrepreneurs as "Green Capital", to ensure that the country gets rid of the "ogre" called the "deep state" as well as criminal groups like Ergenekon that maintain arms caches "everywhere", to ensure that the military can upgrade its own war materiel instead of having to award expensive modernization contracts to countries like Israel, to ensure that armed conspiracies staged in the name of issuing and implementing military memorandums may never take place again, etc.

    Yusuf Kanli argues in Hurriyet Daily News that "the sugar-coated constitutional amendment package will help Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan turn Turkey from a peculiar democracy into a 'Recepocracy' or into an autocracy where the absolute ruler will establish unity of the legislative, executive, and judicial powers in his own hands."

    Star's Mustafa Karaalioglu maintains that there is no glitter that may cause problems for the government in Kilicdaroglu's opposition and therefore there is nothing in the ongoing political power struggle that will serve Turkey. Contrary to the assumptions, Kilicdaroglu has not achieved superiority in the vote race, says Karaalioglu and adds that the CHP leader has once again revived the old fear of the CHP, thereby turning the AKP into a stronger attraction centre.

    Today's Zaman columnist Yavuz Baydar accuses the TUSIAD of assuming a "hypocritical position" on the forthcoming referendum in not openly taking sides in the debate on the reform package and maintaining that Turkey "needs a new constitution, not a partial change to the existing one".

    d) Interview with Abdullatif Sener

    In interview to Mine Senocakli in Vatan, Turkey Party Chairman Abdullatif Sener announces that he will vote in favour of the amendment package. Accusing Erdogan of secretly cooperating with the military, Sener draws attention to the fact that the prime ministry never refers to the 28 February process or the 27 April memorandum and argues that former Deputy Chief of Staff Cevik Bir is currently working as an adviser in one of the companies that are close to Erdogan. What good for Turkey has the party done (which came to power with 47% of the votes), Sener asks and adds: "It has done nothing. In my opinion Erdogan is the worst prime minister in Turkish history."

    e) US State Department's report on Turkey / Washington's interest in Turkey

    Hikmet Bila in Vatan refers to the concerns expressed in the US State Department's report on Turkey (154/ B no. 2) about the shift in Turkey's direction and notes that despite the fact the report shows that "America has begun to wake up a little", the fact that the achievement of the Islamic institutions has been described as democratization shows that Washington is still confused, adding that "Islamisation" and "democratization" have nothing in common. If the United States has finally understood that "Islamism" and "Westernism" cannot coexist, this is a positive development, asserts Bila and adds "They will find out that Ataturk primarily had been against the army's involvement in politics. They will understand that the decrease in the army's involvement in politics and the efforts to redesign the army within the framework of a political project are two different things. They will also learn that secularity is not a sin committed by 'secular elites'."

    f) Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink

    Yeni Safak columnist Kursat Bumin criticizes Ankara's "utterly wrong and cruel" statement of defence in two lawsuits filed with the European Court of Human Rights by the late Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink, and his wife and children, respectively appealing his conviction under Article 159 of the Turkish Penal Code for "insulting the Turkish identity", and suing Turkey over its failure to prevent Dinks assassination. Bumin asks whether the characterization of some of Dink's articles as "hate speech" in Ankara's defence, and the parallel drawn between the sentence against Dink and the conviction of the leader of a Nazi organization in Germany for articles defending National Socialism, really reflect the Turkish government's, namely the ruling AKP's, opinion. "We live in a country that has not yet resolved the state-government dualism", he argues.

    g) "Simply too many generals"

    Vakit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak calls for restructuring of the Turkish military and a redefinition of the armed forces' duties that entail, inter alia, a reduction in the size of the army's top brass", the subordination of the General Staff to the Office of the Defence Minister, the transformation of military courts into "disciplinary" bodies, an increased use of military assets and resources in the provision of civil services, etc.

    h) "Will the year 2012 prove a little Armageddon for Obama?"

    Zaman's Washington correspondent Ali H. Aslan emphasizes the importance of the US congressional elections in November as an event that "will to a large extent determine whether Obama will be re-elected in 2012." He argues that the congressional elections are set to have repercussions not only for the United States but also for Turkey because the possibility of a Republican presidency in the United States spells "headache" for Turkey given how Turkey has shifted from "ally" to "adversary" in Republican perceptions over the AKP's policy on Iraq, Iran, and Israel. He also asserts that the Obama administration is likely to adopt a harsher foreign policy line in response to domestic criticism of what is presented as its "weakness", adding that the ongoing election campaigns in the United States may set the scene for tensions in US-Turkish relations amid accusations that Ankara is stepping on US toes in Iran. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    SC/


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