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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-10-21

Cyprus Press and Information Office: Turkish Cypriot Press Review Directory - Previous Article - Next Article

From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>

TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 201/10 21.10.10 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu reiterates that the EU promised to lift the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots
  • [02] Gul: Everybody wants a new order in Cyprus so that the old sufferings are not repeated
  • [03] Reactions on EP Legal Affairs Committee decision on Direct Trade
  • [04] What has happened to EU justice?
  • [05] Yeni Duzen columnist suggests opening of closed city of Varosha to its legal owners under Turkish Cypriot control
  • [06] Coalition government talks resumed. UBP-TDP came to an agreement
  • [07] More on the bankruptcy of the Cyprus Turkish Airlines
  • [08] KTOS returns to the Turkish embassy textbooks sent from Turkey
  • [09] Cavusoglu invites academics to visit TRNC
  • [10] Protests against so called sports embargo
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [11] Erdogan calls on EU to end deadlock over direct trade
  • [12] Reaction regarding the decision for the Direct Trade Regulation.
  • [13] More reaction on Direct Trade regulation
  • [14] Turkey USA sign cooperation agreement
  • [15] TPAO won a tender to operate natural gas fields in Iraq
  • [16] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Statements by Dervis Eroglu and further reaction on the decision of the EP Legal Affairs Committee regarding the Direct Trade Regulation, reference by Gul to Cyprus, reaction on the liquidation of the illegal Turkish Cypriot airlines, the issue of a coalition government between the UBP and the TDP, and other internal matters are the basic issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today.

    [01] Eroglu reiterates that the EU promised to lift the so-called isolation of the Turkish Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (21.10.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu commented yesterday in Kayseri, Turkey, the decision of the Legal Affairs Committee of the European Parliament regarding the EU Direct Trade Regulation with the Turkish Cypriots. Eroglu visited Kayseri where he was granted the Statesman of the Year Award by the local Journalists Society.

    In statements after the ceremony, Eroglu said that they have been telling the EU officials that the Greek Cypriots should be motivated fin order to reach an agreement in Cyprus and that one of the elements which would motivate them was the approval of the Direct Trade Regulation.

    Eroglu reiterated the Turkish allegation that the EU did not keep its promise to the Turkish Cypriots before the 2004 referendum on the Annan Plan. By relating this regulation to the Ankara Protocol they have caused a relapse in the issue, he said noting that this is not pleasant.

    Eroglu said that the result was not a surprise for them and added that lifting the isolation, which is a promise made by the EU, is more important for them than the Direct Trade Regulation. He expressed the view that the decision taken now by the Committee is better than postponing the discussion of the issue for February or March. At least we know that this game of the direct trade regulation will not be played for long, he noted.

    Moreover, addressing the award ceremony, Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriot people consider Turkey as their motherland. He added: We came from different places of Turkey and made Cyprus our home. We are people of the same nation. The greatest honour for the Turkish Cypriots is to belong to the Turkish nation. Developments in the motherland are closely followed in Cyprus. We rejoice with whatever you rejoice and we grieve with whatever you grieve, because we are one single nation.

    Pointing out to the fact that the flags of Turkey, Azerbaijan and the TRNC were hoisted in the room, Eroglu said that they are three states and one nation. He noted that the TRNC was established thanks to the intervention of the Turkish army and continues to exist with the strong support of the motherland.

    He said he could not understand why the Cyprus problem is seen as obstacle for Turkeys full accession to the EU, alleging that the Cyprus problem is a distinct issue.

    In other statements during his visit to Kayseri, Eroglu said he feels he is a Turkish Cypriot, but he always says he is proud that he comes from Kayseri. He noted that at his hotel he met with his relatives living in Kayseri and added, inter alia, the following: The origin of the Turks living in Cyprus is known. Some came before 1974 and some after 1974. However, all of them are people who came from motherland Turkey. I am a living example standing before you today. Our grandfathers migrated to Cyprus in the 1800s. Some stayed here, some came to Cyprus, but many years later these relatives can find each other.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Gul: Everybody wants a new order in Cyprus so that the old sufferings are not repeated

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes newspaper (21.10.10) reports that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said that everybody wants the Turkish and the Greek Cypriots to live in peace and the establishment of a new order so that the old sufferings are not repeated. Addressing yesterday a meeting of Turkish journalists in Kayseri, in which Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu also participated, Gul noted that the interlocutor in the Cyprus talks is Dervis Eroglu and the TRNC.

    Referring to the flags of Turkey, Azerbaijan and the TRNC in the room, Gul said that they had three flags in the room but many flags in the world. We are a community of the world. We have many states. We are proud of this, he said adding that the Turkish Council was established with the aim of increasing cooperation and solidarity among these states. He alleged that the TRNC has a special place among these states and added that peace has not been established yet in Cyprus. He noted that Eroglu carries out peace talks since his election and that Turkey will always continue to support the breakaway regime.

    Illegal Bayrak television (20.10.10) reports on its website that Gul met Eroglu yesterday in Kayseri and discussed the Cyprus problem and the ongoing negotiations process aimed at reaching a comprehensive settlement. Bayrak notes that they were both in Kayseri to share the award for the statesman of the year- granted to them by the Kayseri Society of Journalists. The two attended the award ceremony organized by the Kayseri Society of Journalists at the Kadir Has Congress Centre. The ceremony was held within the framework of the 31st meeting of the Societys board of directors.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Reactions on EP Legal Affairs Committee decision on Direct Trade

    According to illegal Bayrak (20.10.10), self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk described the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee ruling on the Direct Trade Regulation as an adverse decision.

    Speaking before the weekly session of the so-called council of ministers, Kucuk warned that the decision will further exacerbate Greek Cypriot intransigency, encouraging the Greek Cypriot side to move farther away from a comprehensive solution.

    He also said that the decision had proved another failure of the EU in keeping its promises to the Turkish Cypriots and added: However, our stance will not change. Despite this decision and the Greek Cypriot Administrations negative stance, the Turkish Cypriot side will maintain its positive approach at the peace talks.

    Kucuk added that 5 draft laws envisaging harmonization with the EU would be taken up during the meeting - which will then be forwarded to Parliament.

    On the same issue, illegal Bayrak (20.10.10) reports that self-styled foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, speaking on the news programme of BRT TV channel, underlined the need to focus on reaching a settlement to the Cyprus problem rather than getting bogged down on legal matters such as the EU Direct Trade Regulation.

    Noting that the Regulation was a matter which needed to be taken up together with the issue concerning the lifting of the international isolation of the Turkish Cypriots, Ozgurgun explained that the Direct Trade Regulation was important 6 years ago when the EU had an intention to ease the isolation of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Explaining that Eroglu was informed during his contacts in Brussels that the chances of implementing the regulation under Protocol 10 were quite high, Ozgurgun said that EP Legal Service opinion on the matter was assessed as quite natural from the point view of EU experts as well as the Acquis Communautaire.

    He pointed out that the Turkish Cypriot side participates in the negotiations for a settlement, within the framework of UN parameters, independent of any outside or EU intervention.

    Under the title Disappointment, Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (21.10.10) reports that several Turkish Cypriot politicians expressed the opinion that it was one more blow from the EU, that the EU did not behave democratically and that the decision will be a setback for the ongoing negotiation process.

    In his statements, the chairman of the EU Association, Ali Erel, harshly criticized the EU reminding that the Direct Trade Regulation was prepared as a reaction to the No vote of the Greek Cypriots at the 2004 referendum. Ali Erel said that the Direct Trade Regulation was full of contradictions and added that it was prepared with the aim to bolster the hopes of the Turkish Cypriots. Eli Erel also accused the EU for not keeping its promises to the Turkish Cypriots.

    On the same issue, Ali Cirali, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce said the decision is undemocratic and it means continuation of the isolation. Ali Cirali stated also that for a lasting and a fair solution to be found in the Cyprus problem, efforts to minimize the economic differences existing between the two sides should be made by the European officials as well.

    Gunay Cerkez, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Trade, stated that they did not expect such a decision by the EP. He expressed sorrow because once more the EU has not fulfilled its promises to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Moreover, Erhan Ercin, chairman of the EU Coordination Centre expressed disappointment and sorrow and said that the EP did not handle the issue democratically. He added that the decision of European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee has shattered Turkish Cypriots faith to the EU.

    (AK)

    [04] What has happened to EU justice?

    In an article in Kibris (online 20.10.10) with the above headline, columnist Ata Atun critizes the EP Legal Affairs Committee ruling on the Direct Trade Regulation which he describes of regretful scope and the shame of the EP.

    Atun cites the first two paragraphs of the first article of Protocol 10 (of the Accession on Cyprus) and argues that the decision that the legal basis of the draft prepared by the European Commission was incorrect means that the Direct Trade Regulation will no longer be able to be put into implementation, or else at least that it will not be able to be put into implementation in a manner that the Turkish Cypriot people would be able to accept, amendment of Protocol 10 requires a unanimous vote.

    The sad aspect of this decision is that it casts a shadow over the EU's prestige, says Atun adding that It is clear that there is no justice, but rather politics and intrigue, in the European Parliament's Legal Affairs Committee.

    Pointing out that there is a battle over authority between the Council and the European Parliament, Atun adds: With regard to trade with the EU, which we were able to engage in without problems for approximately 20 years, but in which we then encountered obstacles in 1994 as a result of the ruling made by the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the fact that this step proved impossible to take, and that the Turkish Cypriots were kept waiting for the past six years in vain, are very important from the standpoint of showing both the reluctance and the incapacity of the EU in fulfilling its promises.()

    It is certain that this decision, () is going to create a serious crisis of trust between the Turkish Cypriot people and the EU.

    It is clear that the EU is not going to be able to make a positive contribution to the negotiations that are currently continuing on the basis of the United Nations, and that this decision, far from making a positive impact, will in fact yet further exacerbate the island's divided state.

    As a result of the struggle that they have waged in the EU of "isolating the Turkish Cypriots from the world via embargoes, and forcing them to accept Greek administration," the Greek Cypriots are now going to lose the regions in the north inhabited by Turkish Cypriots forever, thus losing what they have while seeking something more, in the same way that, in 1974, they lost a third of the island to the Turkish Cypriots while seeking enosis [union with Greece].

    One does not need a guide to reach a village that is within sight. [Turkish proverb] Certainly Turkey and the Turks of Cyprus will, together, overcome these obstacles.

    The time has come, and indeed it is overdue, for the European Union to take another look at its policies regarding the divided country that it took into its midst.

    [05] Yeni Duzen columnist suggests opening of closed city of Varosha to its legal owners under Turkish Cypriot control

    Writing in the Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (21.10.10), Asim Akansoy refers to the possibility of opening occupied closed city of Varosha to its legal Greek Cypriot owners under Turkish Cypriot control. He notes that Turkish Cypriot businessmen have been considering this idea and have taken initiatives to open Varosha and after the use of economic potential by the Turkish Cypriots. Noting that they have especially considered opening Varosha to its legal owners under Turkish Cypriot authority, Akansoy writes, inter alia, the following: An initiative of this kind could in the middle term secure a broader acceptance of the Turkish Cypriot authority by the Greek Cypriots (through the Property Compensation Commission). And if the process is administered correctly, within the framework of international relations, it could be turned into an element triggering the solution process of the Cyprus problem.

    He argues that this could happen in spite of the UN Security Council Resolution No 550, on the condition that such a radical step could be faced by Turkey and the necessary diplomatic lobby is carried out, because, he recalls, Turkey is responsible for Varosha before international law.

    Akansoy alleges that the return of Varosha and its administration by the UN is not a realistic demand from the point of view of the UN mission. He says that this would mean return of the city to the Greek Cypriots and adds that it does not seem very rational to him to think that the Turkish Cypriots could benefit from a new economic process after Varosha is given to the UN.

    He alleges that gradual opening of Varosha to its old owners under Turkish Cypriot authority as a special project and in the name of contributing to the comprehensive solution could play an important role in eliminating the inertia and the relaxation in the Greek Cypriot side. He claims that this is outside President Christofias expectations and at the same time it could be considered as a step which strengthens the Turkish Cypriot authority and pushes for a solution within the framework of the policy of being one step ahead.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Coalition government talks resumed. UBP-TDP came to an agreement

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (21.10.10) reports that after the resignation of Ertugrul Hasipoglu and Mehmet Tancer from DP and their joining to UBP, talks for a coalition government resumed.

    According to the paper, bargaining between Irsen Kucuk prime minister and leader of UBP, and Mehmet Cakici, leader of TDP, has restarted.

    Citing reliable resources, the paper reports that TDP leader Mehmet Cakici has laid down the precondition of two ministers in the cabinet and turned on the green line for the coalition. The paper adds that an agreement has been reached concerning the ministries to be given to TDP, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurance.

    The paper further writes that the decision to revive the issue of coalition government was taken during a meeting of the TDP on Tuesday.

    On the same issue, and under the title Kucuk-Cakici agreed this time, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen publishes a commentary by Cenk Mutluyakkali who, inter alia, writes that a Irsen Kucuk and Mehmet Cakici had a face to face meeting and that Kucuk accepted the TDP demand for two ministers. Cakici informed the central committee of TDP. Mutluyakkali adds that this agreement has not been approved yet by Kucuks party. According to the columnist, Ahmet Kasif, self-styled minister of health, and Ilkay Kamil, so-called minister of interior, will not be included in the new cabinet because the columnist claims, there are allegations that he received bribes to grant citizenships.

    (AK)

    [07] More on the bankruptcy of the Cyprus Turkish Airlines

    According to the Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi, (21.10.10) Fikret Cavusoglu, chairman of the Board confirmed an application for bankruptcy has been filed with the occupied Lefkosia District Court.

    Speaking on the issue yesterday before of the Council of Ministers, Prime Minister Irsen Kucuk said that the end of the CTA was unavoidable despite the efforts exerted by the UBP government. The so-called prime minister said that the goal is the new airline company to be established to start flights in March. He then spoke on the possibility of some of the personnel of the KTYH to be employed in the new company and added that since the new company will work under the conditions of a private company, they will not have the right to interfere to its works.

    On the same issue, Huseyin Moral, vice Secretary General of TDP (Social Democracy Party) in a written statement, criticised the UBP government and said that instead of making a plan to save the Turkish Cypriot Airlines, the government continued to implement bad management which led the CTA to bankruptcy.

    Moreover, Abdullah Korkmazhan, organizing secretary of the United Cyprus Party in a written statement said the CTA was methodically led to bankruptcy so that Turkish capital would dominate in north Cyprus. Korkmazhan stated also that the biggest responsibility lies with the UBP government and the former governments adding the major responsibility is with the AKP government which, in the name of the privatization of the Turkish Cypriot communitys organizations, supports the Turkish capital. He said that this is part of an effort to make the north part of Cyprus a Turkish province, in a process for integration with Turkey.

    Kormazhan added that after the CTA, the privatization of the Telecommunication Department, the DAU, Eastern Meditteranean University and different other organizations will follow as well as their transfer to the Turkish capital.

    (AK)

    [08] KTOS returns to the Turkish embassy textbooks sent from Turkey

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (21.10.10) reports that textbooks printed in the occupied areas of Cyprus are replaced by textbooks sent from Turkey. The Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers Trade Union (KTOS) protested yesterday outside the so-called embassy of Turkey in the occupied part of Cyprus noting that the textbooks from Turkey are not appropriate for the Turkish Cypriots. KTOS attempted to return these books to the embassy. When no one received them, Sener Elcil, KTOS general secretary, said that they decided to send them back by mail.

    Elcil cited as example the textbook Come on girls, go to school and noted that it is unthinkable for girls not to go to school in the occupied areas of Cyprus. Even its cover shows that this book is not appropriate for us, he said.

    Elcil noted that pressure is exerted from Turkey so that these books are used in the schools in occupied Cyprus and accused the government of Turkey and the so-called government of the breakaway regime of implementing the policy of assimilation and integration of the Turkish Cypriots.

    (I/Ts.)

    [09] Cavusoglu invites academics to visit TRNC

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (21.10.10) reports that the so-called minister of National Education and Sport, Nazim Cavusoglu, delivered a speech at the opening of an International Universities Conference organised by 18 March University in Dadrdanelles (Canakalle).

    Cavusoglu said in his speech that the continued unjust embargoes and isolation have taken a toll on the TRNC universities. However, TRNC being an education island, the government and the universities work very hard and managed to create a crack in the embargoes with teaching staff and students from every corner of the world. He also invited participants, approximately 2000 from 79 countries, to visit TRNC and enjoy the hospitality and called for their contribution in converting the TRNC into a knowledge island since it has universities of international magnitude, benefiting not only local community but also humanity.

    [10] Protests against so called sports embargo

    In addition to the protest during the Europe League Beikta-Porto football match today against the so called sports embargo, the Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (21.10.10) reports that the Youth division of Democratic Party, and other organizations will demonstrate in occupied Lefkosia. The protest march will start at 19:00. A written protest will be handed to the UN at Ledra Palace.

    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Ergogans visit to Finland and his statements regarding the Direct Trade Regulation, Turkeys President Abdullah Gul and his German counterpart visit to Kayseri for a Turkish-German Business Forum, Justice & Development (AK) Partys initiative to discuss with the opposition the headscarf issue in universities, the warning by the Supreme Court of Appeals Chief Prosecutors to "all political parties" that headscarf "is against the state of law and secularism, the continuing KCK trial, and other internal issues are the main stories in todays Turkish Press.

    [11] Erdogan calls on EU to end deadlock over direct trade

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.10.10), during a joint press conference with Finnish Prime Minister Mari Kiviniemi in Helsinki, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that Turkey expects EU to take steps in order to help end the impasse over direct trade with Turkish Cypriot part of the divided island.

    Erdogan, who is in Finland on a formal visit, said that the committee decision was a non-binding decision for EU member states. He said the decision was not made by the EU. Two commitments had been made to us when south Cyprus joined EU. One on free movement, and the other on financial issues. Since then, no steps have been taken on these two issues, Erdogan added.

    Noting that Finnish efforts during Finland's EU presidency on opening ports in the occupied areas failed, Erdogan said: Unfortunately, the issue has come to an impasse since the EU had not shown a positive stance. If they want to put an end to this impasse, first, ports must be open.

    [12] Reaction regarding the decision for the Direct Trade Regulation.

    Kadri Gursel in his article in Milliyet (21.10.10) entitled Now the road to EU membership is fully blocked views the background of the Direct Trade Regulation and its connections with Turkeys EU membership. He argues that if it passes from the European Parliament and if it comes to the European Council, it will be stopped by the Greek Cypriot veto. Therefore the ports will not open, additional chapters will not open, and the negotiation process will die out after some time, since there are only three chapters that can be opened and concludes that their [Turkeys] effort to find a solution as soon as possible depends on a miracle.

    Erdal Guven in his article in Radikal (21.10.10) comments that the EU decision to continue the isolation has not damaged the morale of the TRNC but also the game plan of Turkey. He says that six years ago EU placed a carrot before the Turkish Cypriots, the Direct Trade Regulation. He supports that the EU proved to be conservative and that it let down the hopes of the Turkish Cypriots to be linked with the EU and integrate with the world. He also argues that Ankara has eight frozen chapters because it has not opened its ports to the Cyprus Republic. So far the Turkish proposal was: You lift the TRNC isolation, we open the ports, but now Ankara has to create a new plan, otherwise negotiations will come to a de facto end point by the end of the year

    [13] More reaction on Direct Trade regulation

    In an article in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 20.10.10) under the title Hope for Turkish Cyprus direct trade dealt serious setback Fulya Ozerkan reports on further reaction the direct trade regulation.

    The EU pledged aid and trade to Turkish Cypriots in reward for their overwhelming support of a U.N.-backed peace plan, but the latest decision shows the EU will not be able to keep its promise, Kemal Baykalli of the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO), told the paper on Wednesday. It also means the defeat of the EU Commission on an issue that it has been following. But it has also revealed the influence of the Greek Cypriots, which can use it as a political bargain, he added.

    It was a long and tough process. The adoption of such a decision in an environment where the Turks of the island are not represented is not surprising, said Mualla Cirakli, KTTOs Brussels representative. But what is surprising is that the European Parliament, which has long fought for more power, has handed over its decision-making power to the EU Council.

    The paper adds that Turkish Cypriot officials said the decision would shake the trust in the EU and would have a negative impact on the peace negotiations.

    Describing the procedure to be followed the paper adds that the issue will be forwarded to the EU Council, which is expected to approve the committees decision. Because one veto in the EU Council can negate any motion, a continuation of Turkish Cyprus trading isolation is expected to continue.

    It will not be easy to bring the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus into the framework of international law before the Cyprus problem is resolved, Ali Erel, president of the Turkish Cypriot EU Association, told the HDN.

    Turkish Foreign Ministry officials told the paper that the issue of direct trade between the EU and northern Cyprus had been left to the will of the Greek Cypriots, something that would cancel any chance of passing the regulation. This is a result of the Greek Cypriot sides policy of isolation, one Turkish diplomat said.

    [14] Turkey USA sign cooperation agreement

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.10.10), during a ceremony at the U.S. Department of State, Turkish Foreign Ministry Deputy Undersecretary Selim Yenel and U.S. Assistant Secretary of State Kerri-Ann Jones signed a scientific and technological cooperation agreement.

    Speaking at the ceremony, Jones said that with this agreement, the cooperation between Turkey and the U.S. in the scientific field would get stronger. He said the agreement would help Turkey deal with problems such as energy, climate, food security and others and added that a watch committee of experts from both sides will be established so that the agreement does not remain on paper.

    The agreement will facilitate joint scientific projects and establish partnerships between the public and private sectors. Joint projects would cover preparation against earthquakes, environment, climate change, renewable energy, health, archaeology and chemicals.

    [15] TPAO won a tender to operate natural gas fields in Iraq

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (20.10.10) Turkey's state-run petroleum corporation (TPAO) and its consortium partners on Wednesday won a tender for the operation rights of Iraq's Mansuriyah gas fields.

    The Turkish corporation won the tender to develop the Mansuriyah deposit near the Iranian border in Iraq's Diyala province in a consortium with Kuwait Energy Company (30%) and the South Korean Kogas (20%), accepting the Oil Ministry's offer of seven dollars per barrel of oil equivalent.

    The consortium will operate the fields for a period of 13 years and it targets 6.4 million cubic meters production per day. Mansuriyah fields contain 128 billion cubic meters (bcm) of reserves, according to the Iraqi Oil Ministry. TPAO vice president Besim Sisman said that his company and its partners planned to invest $2.5 billion to develop the deposit.

    Also, TPAO in a Kuwaiti-led consortium won a tender to develop Iraq's Siba gas fields with an offer of 7.5 U.S. dollars per barrel of oil equivalent. The operation rights are granted for a period of 9 years with a production target of 2.8 million cubic meters per day. The fields in Siba contain nearly 43 billion cubic meters (bcm) of reserves, according to the Iraqi Oil Ministry.

    [16] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 20 October:

    a) Turkey's EU accession

    In an article in Taraf, Yasemin Congar views the embargo Turkey imposed on Greek Cypriot vessels 12 years ago and the damage it has caused Ankara ever since. Urging Ankara to loosen the embargo, Congar argues that such a gesture might initiate a move toward opening the chapters in the Turkish-EU negotiations that are currently suspended. The writer further draws attention to the Cyprus and Heybeliada seminary messages conveyed by the German president, concluding that opening the seminary and the ports might be two steps that might open Turkey's path to the EU.

    b) Missile shield project

    Sami Kohen in Milliyet argues that Turkey has no objection to NATO's medium and long-term strategic plans against perceived threats, adding that, however, there are profound differences of views between Ankara and its western allies in their perception of Iran as a threat. He predicts that a "no" by Turkey will create serious crises both within NATO and in Turkey's relations with the West. The close relations established especially between Ankara and Teheran within the framework of Turkey's recent Middle East overture is the reason for Turkey's hesitation regarding the project, explains Kohen, concluding that Ankara's reply to the shield project will be a test in Turkey's foreign policy choices and affiliations.

    Cuneyt in Hurriyet assesses the US and NATO request to deploy missiles on Turkish territory in an article and writes that Turkey rejects the proposal to deploy on Turkish soil the missile shield, then the natural outcome of this rejection will be Turkey's detachment from NATO's 'joint defence concept.' In conclusion, Ulsever asks Prime Minister Erdogan whether he is not at a crossroads on the issue of withdrawing from NATO.

    c) KCK Trial/Kurdish issue

    In an article in Radikal, Cengiz Candar argues that government policy of restraining the hawks within the Kurdish Movement has backfired, adding that the "spiritual force" of the PKK is now greater than during the period prior to the KCK operations. Drawing attention to the absurdity of the KCK defendants not being able to present their defence in Kurdish because the Kurds are not considered a minority, Candar disagrees with the remarks made by Prime Minister Erdogan about the government being the representative of the Kurds in the Southeast: "The people in the region are detached from the state. The state in Diyarbakir does not have a 'representative power' other than its security forces, its court, and its prison."

    In an article in Star, Ergun Babahan notes that Ankara can no longer view the PKK and Kurdish issues as separate problems, and underlines the necessity of initiating a period in which the PKK will lay down its arms. To achieve this we need to facilitate the PKK's transition to the KCK, declares the writer, adding that we should abandon the practice of imprisoning politicians.

    Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir considers that the "social engineering" tactics of the state aimed at denying the Kurdish identity have not proved to be successful and have further strengthened Kurdish nationalism. Cakir writes that certain forces within the state initiated the operation against KCK thinking that the void created would be filled partially by Kurdish movements outside the PKK and mainly by the Justice and Development Party, (AKP), and certain Islamic groups and communities including the Hizbullah. "I hope that the KCK fiasco will bring the new social engineers to their senses and they will backtrack from their mistake as soon as possible" Cakir concludes.

    d) Headdress issue

    In an article in Milliyet, Metin Munir criticizes the AKP for its hypocrisy on the issue of the headdress and on rights and freedoms in general and notes that Turkey sees in itself the right to deprive the various ethnic and religious groups of their rights.

    In Yeni Akit, columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak warns the ruling AKP about a "new tactic" that the CHP is using in trying to perpetuate the restrictions on Islamic headscarves, which entails agreeing to have the headscarf ban at universities lifted in return for reinforcing ban on the use of Islamic headgear at primary and secondary schools and in public service. Explaining why this is "unacceptable," Dilipak claims that the headscarf issue can never be the subject of laws and regulations because it is about fundamental rights and freedoms. He also announces that in addition to seeing Muslim girls being allowed to cover their heads at universities, "we want masjids and prayer rooms at universities and even faculties. You will also recognize the right of conscientious objection. Military service should cease to be a nightmare for young people."

    e) Turkey's Neo-Ottoman policy

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News, Orhan Gafarli describes the new Turkish foreign policy as the "Neo-Ottoman policy". He believes that this new policy concept will increase the country's geopolitical influence in Central Asia, the Caspian Region, and the southern Caucasus. Viewing the recent Summit of Turkic Speaking Countries and the Erdogan-Aliyev agreement, Gafarli argues that Russian hegemony has ended in the South Caucasus and Turkey is regaining its power.

    f) Turkish-German cooperation to solve Germany's integration problem

    Semih Idiz views in Milliyet the problem of integration of immigrants in Germany, noting that when Germans speak about an "integration problem" they mean the Muslims. Arguing that the German economy needs this population which is not "purely German," Idiz underlines that Germany needs Turkey's help in creating "compatible German citizens of Turkish origin," pointing out that Turkey and Germany should enter a very close and constructive cooperation on the issue.

    Hurriyet, Yalcin Dogan writes that the German programme to integrate into the society first the 2000 imams in Germany and then the foreigners through the imams is one of the topics to be discussed during the German Presidents visit to Turkey.

    In an article in Yeni Safak entitled "Germany, Islam, dangerous trends", columnist Ibrahim Karagul criticizes German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her statement that her country's efforts to build a multicultural society have failed completely. He argues that Merkel's remarks mean that contrary to what German President Christian Wulff said, Muslims or Turks are not regarded as part of Europe and that the European rhetoric of coexistence has been nothing but an illusion. Karagul links Merkel's remarks to an ongoing process in Europe whereby ultra rightist groups are increasingly gaining strength and "tolerance of the other" is gradually disappearing partly because of the economic crisis. He also asserts that the European Union has for some time been turning in on itself in a way that is causing it to forfeit its ability to serve as a "model" for the rest of the world. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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