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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-08-18

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. 156/10 18.08.10

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: When the time comes the path will be clear
  • [02] KTOS: Eroglus solution until the end of the year is not persuasive.
  • [03] New campus for GAU can now be built in protected area in the Karpass
  • [04] International cultural festival in occupied Famagusta
  • [05] World-famous pop star Justin Timberlake to perform in the occupied areas along with Rihanna
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [06] Turkish officials deny US President Obama warned PM Erdogan
  • [07] Turkey continues arms procurement despite questions
  • [08] TRNC: A state on the brink of bankruptcy
  • [09] Highlights: 17 August 2010

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Statements by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu at various events in the occupied areas reiterating that if there is no Cyprus settlement by the end of the year everyone will go their own way, the handover ceremony of the Turkish Cypriot occupation forces, the written statement of the general secretary of KTOS on Eroglus public address and other internal issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    [01] Eroglu: When the time comes the path will be clear

    Under the title If there is no solution, everyone will go their own way, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis newspaper (18.08.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, addressing the celebrations in occupied Lefka of the 36th anniversary of the second phase of the 1974 Turkish invasion, commented on the Cyprus problem and pointed out that this is the last chance for a solution.

    Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriots want to reach a just and permanent agreement on the island by the end of the year, adding that this is possible if both sides want to.

    Reiterating his position that if an agreement is not reached by the end of the year everyone will go their own way, Eroglu said that when the time comes, it will be clear which that path is.

    Moreover, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (18.08.10), during a handing-over ceremony yesterday to the new Commander of the Cyprus Turkish Peace Forces Lieutenant General Adem Huduti, Eroglu said if there is peace on the island today and if the two peoples on the island are living side by side under two separate administrations in serenity and in security, it is solely thanks to the Cyprus Turkish Peace Forces.

    According to illegal Bayrak television (18.08.10, website), Eroglu said there was no point in dragging on with the Cyprus negotiations process, and reiterated his aim for a solution by the end of the year.

    He also said efforts aimed at playing for time so that the Cyprus issue can be used as a means to threaten motherland Turkey in its EU membership process and force both Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots to bow to pressure, are a waste of time.

    He concluded that if Turkey were forced to make a choice between the EU and the TRNC, Turkey has made it clear that it will choose the TRNC.

    (DPs)

    [02] KTOS: Eroglus solution until the end of the year is not persuasive.

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam newspaper (18.08.10), Sener Elcil, the general secretary of Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) criticises in a written statement Eroglus public address, broadcast yesterday, saying that Eroglu repeats the same old story regarding solution, just like Erdogan does in Turkey. This shows how Eroglu has become AKPs spokesperson says Elcil, adding that taking into consideration how much he kept his pre-election promises, Eroglus transformation into a peace angel is just an attempt to console the Cyprus Turkish society, but society is sated with empty words, he said. Elcil stressed that AKPs government uses Turkish Cypriots as hostages in order to join the EU and that Eroglu is as an actor in this game. Moreover, Elcil said Eroglus statement solution by the end of the year is pointless when he proposes laws which speed up the migration of Turkish Cypriots, when he watches the flow of population in the north of the island, when he asks for the colonization of the north by offering public land, which belongs to Turkish Cypriots, as bribe to Turkish capital affiliated to AKP.

    (IS)

    [03] New campus for GAU can now be built in protected area in the Karpass

    Chief reporter of Cyprus Today Osman Kalfaoglu writes that the status of what was previously part of the Karpass National Park has changed to allow Girne [occupied Kyrenia] American University (GAU) to build a new campus. According to Kalfaoglu, a cabinet decision last month made the 195 donum area allocated to GAU, a zone outside the national parks special protection status.

    Cyprus Today revealed in April that the land given to the university was both environmentally and archaeologically protected.

    There are claims the government decision was a sleight of hand move to force through the development against existing laws, Kalfaoglu argues.

    Dogan Sahir, chairman of the Green Action Group, said the decision could set a precedent allowing the whole of the Karpass to be developed. If we lose Karpass, what other untouched area we will have? he asked. Once the campus is there, the area will be polluted and more development will follow, Sahir said adding that his organisation would challenge the decision which, he noted, comes after a recent decision, by the Supreme Monuments Council to prevent any development in the area GAU plans to build on, near to Ayios Philon church.

    The paper says GAU wants to launch a maritime faculty, a faculty of aviation management, faculty of agriculture and English prep school at the site, and an extension of the tourism faculty. The paper quotes a top-level of bureaucrat of the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture as saying that the area is forestry land, which the Constitution prevents any development on, and it is an archaeologically-protected zone, which is right next to Ayios Philon church (...) Such a decision can only be adopted if the City Planning Centre prepares a report and the proposal is made by the Ministry of Tourism, Environment and Culture.

    GAU maintains that the Karpass campus will boost the economic, social and cultural development of local people.

    [04] International cultural festival in occupied Famagusta

    According to the illegal Bayrak television (online 17.08.10), the 14th International Gazimagusa [occupied Famagusta] Culture and Arts Festival will kick off on August 24 and will last until September 7 with the participation of world-famous stars.

    According to information given by Oktay Kayalp, the so-called mayor of occupied Famagusta, all events will take place at the site of the occupied Salamis Ancient Theatre, as usual. The Wailers reggae group will commence the festival. Turkish artists Zerrin Ozer and Fatih Erkoc, the traditional Latino musician Yasmin Levy, the Cypress Classical Group --which focuses on the classic tunes of the Cyprus Turkish folk music-- and Kocani orchestra from the Balkans will also perform during the festival. The festival will close with a concert by the Spanish artist Buika.

    [05] World-famous pop star Justin Timberlake to perform in the occupied areas along with Rihanna

    Turkish Cypriot midweek Cyprus Today newspaper (18.08.10) reports that the pop superstar Justin Timberlake is to perform in the occupied areas of Cyprus along with Rihanna in a free public concert, to mark the commencement of construction of two major hotels in Ayios Epiktitos village in occupied Kyrenia. According to exclusive statements to the newspaper by the Turkish businessman Yilmaz Bektas, who is investing 500 million dollars in the hotels, the deal with both artists had been agreed in principle and the necessary down payment has been made. As the paper reports, Rihanna will receive one million dollars while Timberlake will receive two million dollars to appear on September 15.

    The newspaper adds that Bektas is the chairman of Intel Group of companies in Turkey, operating in the oil and construction sector. He owns the Spanish Fashion TV business and has business links with Italian jewellery design house, Bulgari. According to the paper, one of the hotels will be named the Bulgari Hotel Casino, while the other, the Fashion Castle Hotel Casino, will have rooms designed by experts from Gucci and other top fashion names. The two hotels will be built on the land currently occupied by the Vogue Beach Club hotel, which will be demolished, the paper notes. In addition, Bektas also plans a boatyard east of Kyrenia, and an Armani hotel.


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The September 12 referendum and its political consequences continue to dominate the Turkish press. In this context, the papers cover Erdogans statement to the Turkish Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges (TOBB), to secure a yes vote, the reaction of the Turkish Industrialists and Businessmens Association (TUSIAD) to Erdogans statements, who called on them to reveal their true stance and also Turkeys President Abdullah Guls statements calling on Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu for restraint. Moreover the humanitarian aid and support that Turkey will provide to Pakistan is covered, along with the attempt by Palestinian to take hostages in the Turkish Embassy in Tel Aviv, the crisis expected with the appointments of judges in high profile cases by the Supreme Board of Judges and Prosecutors (HSYK), and the complaints regarding the recent Examination for the Selection of Public Personnel (KPSS) are among the main stories.

    [06] Turkish officials deny US President Obama warned PM Erdogan

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (A.A) (17.08.10) reported from the Turkish southeastern province of Kahramanmaras on statements to the press by the Turkish Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu, on the latest news stories that the U.S. President Barack Obama warned Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during their recent meeting at the G-20 summit in Toronto.

    Davutoglu stated that no such issue exists and added: Turkey and the USA are strategic allies. (...) On the other hand, not a single country could warn Turkey or display such a stance towards the Turkish prime minister. The meeting in Toronto was friendly and was held in accordance with the relations between two ally countries. It was a conversation between the leaders of two sovereign states that are totally equal. Such news stories do not reflect reality, Davutoglu noted.

    The content of the FT report was also denied by the Turkish Minister of National Defence Vecdi Gonul, according to A.A. report from Izmir.

    [07] Turkey continues arms procurement despite questions

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (HDN) (17.08.10) reported that at a time when many Western nations are moving to curb their defence spending, Turkeys defence procurement programmes remain in place and are even increasing. Some analysts question the wisdom of this policy, but procurement officials say Turkeys strategic location makes it necessary to continuing acquiring conventional arms.

    Particularly, HDN, inter alia, reports the following:

    Although several Western nations, including the United States and Britain, are announcing cuts in defence spending, Turkey, a country with a relatively modest defence budget, is scheduled to boost such spending in the foreseeable future. Turkey's defence budget for 2010 is nearly $16 billion, roughly 1.8 % of the country's gross domestic product. Nearly $4 billion out of this amount goes to weapons while the rest is used for personnel, operations, logistics and maintenance expenses.

    Part of Turkey's defence procurement spending is devoted to systems mainly designed for asymmetric warfare, that is, the threat posed by members of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK). The acquisition of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and mine-resistant ambush-protected vehicles fall into this category and are of the highest priority. But ironically, some of the costlier items, including modern fighter aircraft, battle tanks and submarines, are classed as conventional weapons. As such, some defence analysts wonder if it is wise to spend huge amounts of money for such conventional warfare systems which will probably never be used in war.

    Others, however, believe the procurements are necessary. Turkey is located in the middle of some of the world's most unstable areas, and I personally think that Turkey will continue to need strong defences, said one senior defence procurement official. For that reason, I expect our procurement spending to increase and not decrease in the foreseeable future. And do not forget this: Most defence systems are not made for use in war; they more importantly serve a deterrence role, preventing wars, said the official.

    (...) The largest item on Turkeys shopping list over the next 10 years will be the planned purchase of 100 F-35 fighters. Several Turkish companies are members of the consortium led by the U.S. Company Lockheed Martin making the F-35. The cost of the aircraft, however, is constantly rising; last year, the 100 F-35s were believed to cost around $11 billion, but that figure is now estimated at over $13 billion. In addition, the rival Eurofighter Consortium is also seeking to sell at least 20 Eurofighter Typhoon jets.

    Under a $500 million programme, Turkey is preparing to build four prototypes of the countrys first indigenous battle tank, the Altay. When this phase is completed in 2015, a fresh contract will be awarded for the mass production of the tank and a first batch of 250 tanks may cost anywhere between $3 billion and $4 billion.

    By roughly 2015, Turkey should begin to receive 50 T-129 attack helicopters being built under the leadership of the Italian-British AgustaWestland in a multibillion-dollar programme. Other large-scale programmes call for the joint production with a foreign partner of hundreds of utility helicopters, the joint manufacture with Germany of four modern submarines, the purchase from local companies of thousands of armoured vehicles and the indigenous design, development and production of frigates and corvettes.

    Given our spending schedules, we can say that our procurement expenses are expected to peak around 2015 and remain so until 2020, said the senior procurement official. But if at some point in the future, political and threat conditions allow for a reduction in procurement spending and if the government decides to do so, obviously we will obey, the official said.

    [08] TRNC: A state on the brink of bankruptcy

    Under this title, Turkish daily Milliyet newspaper (18.08.10, online) publishes an article by columnist Metin Munir. Munir in his article, according to his own official sources in Ankara, argues that TRNC economy is distorted in a way rarely seen in the world. Public spending is around 70% of the Gross National Product and 75% of the budget is spent on salaries. However, he argues, there is not enough money and taxes collected can cover only 73% of the salaries. The situation is even worse, he says, since personnel spending increases faster than national income. The budget deficit between 2007 and 2009 increased almost four times.

    In other public domains, also, such as the three public banks, almost all the resources have been used in order to pay salaries. Moreover, pension funds have been drained completely in order to pay salaries. Similarly, other public financial institutions are not sound; almost all managed to accumulate debts, to institutions in Turkey. For example, some hospitals in Turkey refuse to operate patients, whose expenses are covered by the government. The Turkish Cypriot Electricity Authority owes 200 million Turkish Liras, while there are accountants whose salary reaches 16 million TL per month but they keep no financial statements; true economic situation is unknown.

    Moreover, one in every four young persons is unemployed. Tourism is said to be the biggest sector, but hotels average booking is 30% and if casinos are banned, very few hotels would survive.

    The writer also argues that the political system is unstable and the people, apart from a few exceptions, support this bankrupt system because they are used to easiness and although the situation is tragic, they do not ask for reforms.

    According to Munirs source in Ankara, no political institution in the TRNC has a vision. Politicians do not give solutions, therefore everyone tries to protect what he has, for example the public officers their pensions, trade unions their legal privileges, tourism institutions their licences for gambling.

    However, the writer concludes, there is a covert agreement in the TRNC: how to obtain more money from Turkey. Apart from that, there is no agreement on any other issue.

    [09] Highlights: 17 August 2010

    a) Turkish-US Ties

    In an article in Milliyet, Sami Kohen refers to the Financial Times according to which President Obama warned Prime Minister Erdogan that if Turkey does not change its stand on Israel and Iran, the Congress will not approve the arms sale to Turkey. Drawing attention to the meetings in Washington and the reports that have been released on Turkey lately, Kohen wonders whether the Congress will once again impose an arms embargo on Turkey.

    Murat Yetkin writes in Radikal that the fact that the US Administration relies so much on Turkey with regard to Iraq and Afghanistan, while it has serious disputes with Turkey on Iran and Israel, is problematic not only in terms of Washington, but also in terms of Ankara. He questions whether the government's stand regarding Israel, will change after the referendum.

    In an article in Taraf, Evrim Bunn notes: "The United States wants to see that its interests are safeguarded by Turkey, which it considers an ally. The fact that a common path has been found regarding Iran is a beginning, but it is also necessary to satisfy the Congress by offering an olive branch to Israel. Turkeys stand with regard to Israel may be clarified following the Mavi Marmara report of the UN international investigation committee, it is added.

    b) PKK's cease-fire decision

    Milliyet's Fikret Bila explains that the PKK's solution proposal is based on a de facto two-nation federation, adding: "The final goal is an independent Kurdish state." Given that the state will not accept the demands in this regard, the PKK and its political representatives want to carry the question to the United Nations, notes Bila.

    In an article in Vatan, Rusen Cakir writes: "In addition to affecting the referendum, the PKK's decision may urge the government to once again and rapidly put Kurdish overture on the agenda from where it had been left off. Following the latest changes in the command level of the Turkish Armed Forces, the government --if it wants to-- may turn the cease-fire from a 'unilateral' to a 'bilateral' cease-fire and the process may extend until all arms are laid down. There is no doubt that the government should come out of the referendum strong to this end. And as far as it can be seen, Ocalan and the PKK are seriously contributing to the ruling party at this point."

    In an article in Zaman, Sahin Alpay views the cease-fire declared by the PKK and the conditions, and says these conditions set, are acceptable, adding that Turkey is facing the biggest and most hopeful opportunity to end the suffering that has been continuing since 1984. Conceding that one should be cautious and not over optimistic, Alpay concludes: "The CHP is faced with a unique opportunity to demonstrate to the entire country that it is sincerely in favour of democracy. Expressing the hope that the interests of the country will be the priority and not of the party.

    Writing in Today's Zaman, Lale Kemal assesses the cease-fire declared by the PKK and the conditions set, and argues that: "Turkish political atmosphere, however, is neither ripe nor mature enough to accept the PKK conditions." Noting that it is hard to see the ruling party making any move that can be seen as a breakthrough in the Kurdish question until the general elections in July 2011, Kemal argues that the negative stance of the opposition parties on the democratic reforms is hindering a meaningful solution to the Kurdish question.

    Ali Atif Bir, writing in Bugun, argues that the number of those who wish to eliminate the Kurds in Turkey are not as large as the number of Kurds who want to destroy the Turks. He adds that, therefore, the majority of the people in Turkey have difficulty in understanding the PKK demands, and wonders: "Why should the Turkish Armed Forces put an end to its operations against centres that threaten our unity? Why should those who commit illegal acts be released? Why should Apo [Abdullah Ocalan] be an intermediary? We have no problems with the Kurds."

    Zaman columnist Sahin Alpay, in an article entitled "End violence to create a free and prosperous Turkey," hails the PKK declaration of a ceasefire as a development that has provided the "greatest and most encouraging opportunity" and adds that none of the PKK's "conditions" are unacceptable.

    c) Mudslinging between Erdogan and Kilicdaroglu

    Mustafa Mutlu, writing in Vatan, says the Turkish prime minister is actually attacking Republican People's Party (CHP) Chairman Kemal Kilicdaroglu's Kurdish identity and Alevi faith, and underlines that the prime minister is violating the Constitution and the Human Rights Charter by pursuing policies that are based on ethnic and religious identities. Mutlu also questions whether with his comments the prime minister is not turning Kilicdaroglu into the target of racist and religious discrimination.

    d) Mass at Sumela Monastery

    In his article in Hurriyet, Oktay Eksi considers the mass at the Sumela Monastery positive, though he opposes Bartholomeos's use of the title of ecumenical patriarch. He also considers the patriarch's demand for privileges and for opening the clergy seminary at Heybeliada (Halki island), with a status that is not in line with the laws, not only inappropriate, but also dangerous. Nonetheless, Oktay adds, we find the Patriarchate's legal claim for the immovable property taken following the Lausanne Agreement appropriate and we support these demands.

    e) Erdogan's declaration of assets

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Cuneyt Arcayurek views Erdogan's declaration of assets, questions the source of the 70% increase in his savings in one year, and poses questions about the ownership of the house he and his family live on Camlica Hill in Istanbul.

    f) Ankara's defence statement on Dink killing

    Yildirim Turker in Hurriyet Daily News strongly criticizes the defence statement that Ankara has sent to the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which almost justifies Armenian journalist Hrant Dink's killing and even compares him with a Nazi writer. The defence statement shows the true face of the government, it is added.

    g) Criticism against functioning of Judiciary

    Yusuf Kanli in Hurriyet Daily News refers to the latest statistics that 41,000 of the 118,000 persons in Turkish prisons have not yet been convicted and adds: "The country obviously needs a comprehensive judicial reform, rather than the current effort of the government which aims at nothing more than domesticating the high courts and turning the country into a farm without sticks where dogs roam around freely."

    h) Interview with Abdullatif Sener

    In the second instalment of the interview by Mine Senocakli in Vatan, Turkey Party (TP) leader Abdullatif Sener accuses Erdogan of adopting an aggressive style just for the sake of political profits. Furthermore, it is added, in an environment of fights, corruption spreads and becomes invisible and this is in line with the prime minister's administrative understanding. Also referring to the Gaza flotilla, Sener argues that Erdogan and the government extended financial and moral support to the organizers and stresses that the prime minister should render accounts for this incident.

    i) S-300 missiles in Abkhazia and South Ossetia

    In an article in Yeni Safak, Ibrahim Karagul focuses on the deployment of S-300 missiles in Abkhazia and South Ossetia, dwelling on the Israeli argument that the missiles are not directed against Georgia but against a possible attack on Iran. Agreeing with such a possibility Karagul writes: "There are serious signs that the United States and Israel will make effective use of Azerbaijan and Georgia." The writer goes on to detail the security and defence agreements Israel has been signing with the Balkan countries and the US military bases being established around the Black Sea, adding: "While Turkey, Russia, and Ukraine are getting ready to establish a 'Black Sea alliance' and to keep the Black Sea under their supervision, the United States and its allies are focusing on another Black Sea scenario.

    j) Heron allegation investigated

    Zaman publishes a front-page report under the headline, "I am having the Heron allegation investigated. Nothing can be covered up," which quotes President Gul as saying that it is not possible to remain indifferent about the allegation that senior commanders of the Turkish Armed Forces refrained from dispatching reinforcements to the Hantepe outpost in the Cukurca district (Hakkari Province) when it was attacked by the terrorist PKK on 20 July, choosing instead to watch the assault take place through UAV images. According to the report, Gul's remarks have created the expectation that an investigation into the "scandal" is in the offing. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    MP/


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