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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 10-12-10

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 CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 236/10 10.12.10 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: "We will not be the side to break off the negotiations in Geneva"
  • [02] Talat says the Turkish side is inclined to "let the Cyprus problem reach a deadlock"
  • [03] Durust speaks at Travel Turkey Fair
  • [04] Turkish Airlines approved the 10% of shares for the new airlines
  • [05] Bulutoglulari to run for UBP's general secretary
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [06] Quarrel at the EP Committee of Foreign Affairs on Turkey's 2010 progress report
  • [07] The first Turkish-Greek business forum held in Thessaloniki
  • [08] Turkey will not open new negotiation chapter during Belgium EU Presidency
  • [09] Support to Turkey's EU bid expected to increase during Poland's term presidency
  • [10] Turkish and Syrian Foreign Ministers meet
  • [11] Turkey and Japan sign MoU on cooperation in space technology
  • [12] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The main stories in today's Turkish Cypriot press are an interview with the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu, statements by former leader Mehmet Ali Talat and the debate regarding the establishment of a new airline in the occupied areas. Moreover, the papers cover the participation of the so-called tourism minister in "Travel Turkey" exhibition, occupied Lefkosia mayor Bulutoglulari contesting the post of UBP general secretary, the "Association of Businessmen" meeting with Eroglu and the so-called minister of finance, Turkish Cypriot NGO's network travel to Ireland and Slovenia during an EU programme, and other internal issues.

    [01] Eroglu: "We will not be the side to break off the negotiations in Geneva"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.12.10) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriots will not be the side to break off negotiations in Geneva and that is why they do not have a Plan B.

    Eroglu gave an interview yesterday to a group of journalists of Yeni Duzen, SIM FM radio and KANAL SIM television.

    Eroglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriots do not have a plan on what they will do if the negotiations break off. "The Greek Cypriot side does not want to break off the negotiations either, but they are in favour of open ended negotiations", he noted adding that the Turkish side suggested that a time limit should be put, because the negotiations on the Cyprus problem are continuing since 1968.

    Asked about his expectations from the meeting to be held in Geneva in January, Eroglu said this will be an important meeting and reiterated the view that according to the messages which the UN Secretary-General conveyed to the leaders at their recent meeting in New York and with his report to the UN Security Council, "the patience of the Secretary-General has been exhausted". Eroglu alleged that reaching an agreement does not depend only on the Turkish Cypriot side, but on the proposals of the Greek Cypriots as well.

    He added: "Anyway we know what preparations we will make when going to Geneva. We will try to be reasonable. If the Greek Cypriot side acts with the same reasonable approach and thinking, perhaps even if we do not come to the point of signing an agreement, we will cover a lot of distance in Geneva."

    Noting that the meeting in Geneva will be a tripartite with the participation of the sides in Cyprus and the UN Secretary-General with his team, Eroglu said: "At the moment we do not have any information regarding the participation of the guarantor powers. The UN Secretary-General did not convey such a demand. If we, the leaders, do not agree, we will be sending invitation to the foreigners [to interfere]. That is why I told Mr Christofias that we have to agree at the negotiating table."

    Asked whether the UN might withdraw from the negotiating process in Cyprus, Eroglu said that this is not a decision of the UN Secretary-General alone but of the UN Security Council as well. He noted that he is not sure that the Security Council will take such a decision. "I feel that Russia will block it," he said.

    Asked whether he has a policy towards a culture of reconciliation, Eroglu responded that when he stated that he would continue the negotiations from the point they were left by the former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, he meant that everything is open and referred to "a bi-zonal, bi-communal new partnership which will be established by two founding states based on political equality".

    He noted that if the differences on the property and territory are not overcome, a solution will not be achieved even if we keep talking about peace and federation for 100 years. He recalled a recent statement made by Talat that "the Greek Cypriots will not be satisfied no matter how many concessions you give to them".

    Eroglu alleged that reaching an agreement is difficult if proposals put on the table ignore the 36-year long period which the Turkish Cypriots lived in the occupied northern part of Cyprus.

    Eroglu said that both he and President Christofias opposed the Annan Plan and added: "If I were in Christofias' place, I would say yes to that plan." Eroglu noted that he had his reasons for rejecting the Annan Plan and alleged that the Greek Cypriots said 'no' to that plan "because of the paucity of territory".

    Asked what they are discussing now, what is the aim and what is the difference with the Annan Plan, Eroglu alleged that the aim of the Turkish side is to reach a lasting and viable agreement. He noted that the proposal for recommencing the negotiations with the property issue had been submitted by Alexander Downer, UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Cyprus. He said if he had rejected this proposal, he would break off the negotiations without sitting at the negotiating table.

    Eroglu alleged that the Turkish proposals on the property issue were very much appreciated by Downer. "They even graded our proposals. Our proposals were graded with an A and the proposals of the Greek Cypriots with a C," he claimed.

    Asked on the concessions allegedly given by Mehmet Ali Talat, Eroglu said he did not want to enter such debate and added that the Greek Cypriot side was in a very difficult position after it rejected the Annan Plan, but this ended with the commencement of the negotiations. "The Turkish side was not able to benefit enough from the 'no' vote of the Greek Cypriots. Neither Turkey nor the Turkish Cypriot side," he alleged.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Talat says the Turkish side is inclined to "let the Cyprus problem reach a deadlock"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (10.12.10) reports that the former Turkish Cypriot leader, Mehmet Ali Talat during a press conference yesterday in the occupied part of Lefkosia said that the Turkish Cypriot side seems to be inclined to "let the issue come to a deadlock without the being accused of it".

    He said the Cyprus problem is heading towards a "serious deadlock" and warned that this would be against the Turkish Cypriots. "Because we have to be integrated with the international law, because our interest requires the solution of the Cyprus problem," he argued.

    Talat said the policy of "let the issue come to a deadlock but the Greek Cypriots should appear the guilty side for this" will have no benefit and it is a dangerous approach. He said this could come to surface only when a referendum is held at the end of the negotiations. Talat alleged that the Greek Cypriots are satisfied with the status quo and that the Turkish Cypriots should follow an active policy. "This is not seen now, things have been left to slide," he said.

    Talat called on the Greek Cypriot side to be more constructive, because the Greek Cypriots also need a solution. Addressing the international community and especially the EU, he said it should support the process more actively.

    Referring to the relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime, he argued that they are experiencing their worst period ever. "The quarrel between people from Turkey and people from Cyprus is starting again", he noted adding that serious problems exist in the relations between the Turkish Cypriot "people" and the Turkish government on the one hand, and the Turkish Cypriot "people" and the Turkish people on the other.

    Talat added: "We do not have any power alone in the international field. We are in the position of not being recognized, not having international relations and diplomatic network. If Turkey turns its face away, we will be able to do absolutely nothing. Therefore, the relations with Turkey are extremely important and should not be harmed."

    Asked whether it would be more useful if he and the political party leaders went to Geneva with Dervis Eroglu, Talat said Eroglu did not even brief him on the meeting in New York. He added that it would be useful if Eroglu invited them to accompany him and that he is ready to offer any kind of help to the Turkish Cypriot leader.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (10.12.10) reports that Talat expressed the view that "diplomatic gaffes" started from the very first day of the recommencement of the Cyprus talks. He noted that the mentality of "let a deadlock be created and let the responsibility be shouldered by the Greek Cypriot side" should be abandoned. Talat said that the Greek Cypriot side is trying to turn the issue of the illegal Turkish settlers into a chapter in the Cyprus talks, and expressed the view that "this is very dangerous".

    Talat argued that he never accepted the existence of a single people in Cyprus. "Everything I accepted is registered and open," he said. Talat also noted that the allegations that he accepted the occupied Karpass peninsula to be returned to the Greek Cypriots are a lie.

    Talat also referred to the financial situation in the occupied areas of Cyprus and said that "chaos exists in the country", noting that such financial and social crisis has never been experienced before.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Durust speaks at Travel Turkey Fair

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (10.12.10), the self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture Kemal Durust, in a speech at the Travel Turkey Fair and Conference in Izmir, expressed his satisfaction that Turkey will declare 2011 as a "TRNC year", which, he said, will increase tourist flow to the occupied areas. He added, however, that tourism should to be related only with gambling tourism.

    Noting that Turkey is still paying the salaries of the "public sector" employees, Durust said that Turkey's support is also a kind of payment, adding "if Turkey exists, then TRNC also exists".

    Also addressing the Fair, the Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism Ertugrul Gunay said that the "TRNC is a destination that is not neglected, that Turkey shares the same beliefs pointing out that Turks do not even need a passport to travel there". He concluded saying that Turkey is contributing to the development of a joint civilization and economy.

    [04] Turkish Airlines approved the 10% of shares for the new airlines

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (10.12.10) reports that the executive board of the Turkish Airlines decided to become partner in the new airline with 10% of the shares.

    [05] Bulutoglulari to run for UBP's general secretary

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (10.12.10) reports that Cemal Bulutoglulari, mayor of occupied Lefkosia, announced yesterday that he will be a candidate for UBP's general secretariat. Bulutoglulari speaking to "Haber Dosyasi" TV programme said that although Kucuk is an experienced administrator, he needs a good assistant. He said he is contesting the post in order to solve problems related with the so-called ministers. He also stated that apart from "ministers and MPs", he is supported by the grassroots members and that he intends to establish tranquillity within the party.

    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Reports concerning reaction to statements by Ria Oomen-Ruijten European Parliament's Rapporteur on Turkey following efforts by Cypriot EP members to make amendments on the Progress Report on Turkey, the denials by Ahmet Davutoglu of allegations published in Israeli and British press that Tel-Aviv administration offered to pay 100.000 USD as compensation to each of the families of the victims of Mavi Marmara attack, statements by Mehmet Ali Talat on developments in the occupied areas, statements by Ertugrul Gunay, Turkish Minister of Culture and Tourism and Kemal Durust, self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture during the Izmir Tourism Fair, the International Crisis Group report on the Cyprus problem, and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish press.

    [06] Quarrel at the EP Committee of Foreign Affairs on Turkey's 2010 progress report

    All Turkish dailies cover today (10.12.10) statements by Ria Oomen-Ruijten, European Parliament's Rapporteur on Turkey during the discussion yesterday at the Committee of Foreign Affairs of the European Parliament, on Turkey's 2010 progress report.

    All papers write that Cypriot Members of the European Parliament, infuriated the Dutch Rapporteur as they considered insufficient the to Turkey in the report to "immediately withdraw the Turkish troops" and exerted efforts to include their demands for, as the papers write, "the recognition of the Greek Cypriot administration, the return of the closed city of Maras [fenced off city of Varosha], and the opening of Turkish ports for Greek Cypriot vessels".

    According to the papers, the Dutch Rapporteur said to the Cypriot EMPs, that in the text she did not examine the sensitivities of the Greek Cypriot side and called on Greek Cypriots not to interfere. On the insistence of the Cypriot EMPs, Ria Oomen-Ruijten pointed out that the report prepared is on Turkey and not Cyprus.

    Turkish daily Hurriyet covers the issue under the title "Greeks irritated the rapporteur". The paper further writes that Ria Oomen-Ruijten also rejected the demand of Emine Bozkurt, Dutch Socialist MP with Turkish origin, who asked that the EU is called upon to fulfil its promises to the "TRNC" concerning the direct trade. She also rejected the demand by Richard Howitt, British Socialist, who asked to exclude the call to Turkey to withdraw its troops from Cyprus.

    Following are the headlines of Turkish dailies on the issue:

    Milliyet: "They infuriated the Dutch rapporteur as well"

    Sabah: "She blew up at Greeks"

    Zaman "The rapporteur blasted by Greek Cypriots: I am penning a report for Turkey, it is not a report for Cyprus"

    Hurriyet: "Greeks irritated the rapporteur"

    Cumhuriyet: "Greeks declared a 'mobilization' for the EP's report"

    (AK)

    [07] The first Turkish-Greek business forum held in Thessaloniki

    Turkish Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.12.10) reported from Thessaloniki on the first Turkish-Greek Business Forum.

    Speaking at the opening of the forum, chairperson Selim Egeli of Foreign Economic Relations Board of Turkey (DEIK) said that political ties between Turkey and Greece had gained a sustainable stability lately and such development provided great economic and commercial opportunities for both countries. Egeli said Turkish and Greek governments' determination to overcome the existing problems between Turkey and Greece is the biggest assurance for the future of the two countries' economic relations. "We need to get to know each other better. We should come together more and create the necessary business platforms for our investors," Egeli noted.

    Moreover, Jannot Apikyan, the head of Greek-Turkish Chamber of Commerce of Northern Greece, said that Turkey and Greece, which are two neighbouring countries, have remarkable opportunities to improve their economic cooperation. Apikyan said it would be more advantageous if the two countries strengthened their economic ties instead of competing with each other. He also noted that Greek companies could freely carry out activities in Turkey, adding Turkish investors in Greece should also be provided with similar facilities.

    The next meeting of the Turkish-Greek Business Forum will be held in Komotini, Greece on January 14-15, 2011, officials said.

    [08] Turkey will not open new negotiation chapter during Belgium EU Presidency

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (10.12.10) reports that while constantly complaining of politically motivated obstacles preventing the opening of more than half of the 35 policy areas into which the membership talks with the European Union have been divided, Turkey will not be able to open an entirely technical chapter which is one of only three chapters that are currently available to be opened.

    According to the paper, Belgian and Turkish officials on Thursday confirmed that it has not been possible to open a new negotiation chapter during the six-month-long rotating EU presidency of Belgium, which will be concluded at the end of this year. An intergovernmental conference set to be held later this month for opening a new chapter is accordingly cancelled.

    The paper writes, inter alia, the following:

    "Belgian Foreign Minister Steven Vanackere, whose country will be the first since Turkey began membership talks with the EU in 2005 to fail to open a single negotiating chapter, said that Turkey's implementation of new competition rules was 'a bit too slow', European Voice, an online news portal, reported on Thursday. Arguing that the 'momentum is still going on' in Turkey's bid to join the EU, Vanackere said opening the competition chapter was 'a question of weeks and months at the beginning of the next presidency because a lot of work has been done'.

    Diplomatic sources in Ankara confirmed that it will not be possible to open the competition chapter, citing 'technical reasons' for the situation. 'The opening of the competition chapter has been delayed entirely for technical reasons, and it will not be possible to open it at a meeting on December 22 as previously planned', diplomatic sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Today's Zaman on Thursday, referring to the planned intergovernmental conference. 'Competition is one of the toughest chapters, and we are continuing our technical studies for opening this chapter."

    [09] Support to Turkey's EU bid expected to increase during Poland's term presidency

    According to Turkish Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.12.10), the Turkish state minister for foreign trade Zafer Caglayan has expressed the belief that support for Turkey's EU membership bid would increase in 2011, during Poland's term presidency.

    Speaking at the Turkey-Poland Business Forum in Istanbul, Caglayan said that both Turkey and Poland are among the important actors of future, adding that the two countries had always supported each other. Noting that Poland and Turkey are among the strong economies of the world, Caglayan said that bilateral trade volume of the two countries was only 3.2 billion USD which does not reflect the real potential. Caglayan said that Turkish companies want to make more investments in Warsaw, and Turkey wants to host more Polish businessmen.

    Caglayan recalled that Turkey is only four hours away from a geography where 56 countries are located. He pointed out the rising direct foreign capital in Turkey in the recent years, and invited Polish investors to make joint business with Turkish investors. Recalling that Poland has given full support to Turkey's EU membership bid, Caglayan thanked Polish Premier Donald Tusk for the support.

    [10] Turkish and Syrian Foreign Ministers meet

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.12.10) reported from Ankara on the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with his Syrian counterpart Walid Mualem.

    Speaking at a joint press conference, Davutoglu said that they are working on the establishment of Turkey-Syria-Jordan-Lebanon Strategic Cooperation Council mechanism. He added that the Turkish-Syrian relations are improving and the two countries have a full cooperation, stating that they discussed the 2nd High-Level Strategic Cooperation meeting to be held on December 21. Recalling that 51 agreements have been signed between Turkey and Syria last year, Davutoglu said that the 2nd meeting would focus on these agreements and projects. "We believe this relationship is the one which will change the fate of the region," he said.

    Davutoglu said that they also discussed Lebanon and Iraq. "Iraq's stability is of great importance for Turkey and Syria," he said, adding that Turkey and Syria shared similar perspectives in regards to regional issues.

    For his part, Syrian Foreign Minister Mualem expressed satisfaction over Turkey's role in the region. Mualem said that Syria hoped that its strategic cooperation with Turkey will improve. Syria is determined to exert more efforts for settlement of stability in Lebanon, he said. In regards to Israel's new settlement construction, Mualem said that Syria will keep assisting Palestine.

    Moreover, Davutoglu said that Israeli settlements on Palestinian territory are illegal and added that settlements do not pave the way for peace. He reaffirmed Turkey's position that construction of Israeli settlements should come to a halt and that peace talks should continue in line with permanent borders of the Palestinian state. "Because settlers are illegitimate. So, such an illegitimate process cannot clear the way for peace," Davutoglu said. "Continuation of peace process is of vital importance. However, we are deeply disappointed over the failure of recent US efforts in that direction," he said. Davutoglu also called on the international community to recognize Palestine, adding that peace cannot be achieved without recognition of the Palestinian state.

    [11] Turkey and Japan sign MoU on cooperation in space technology

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (09.12.10) reported from Tokyo that Turkey and Japan signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in space technology. Turkish Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim and Japanese State Minister for Space Policy Banri Kaieda signed the MoU in Tokyo. During his meeting with Banri Kaieda, Yildirim said that the MoU drew a general frame for cooperation in this area and it should be improved.

    Yildirim also met separately with Japanese Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Sumio Mabuchi and Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) President Sadako Ogata. Infrastructure and transportation projects were discussed during Yildirim's meetings.

    [12] Highlights

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

    a) Reaction to WikiLeaks documents

    A report in Hurriyet quotes Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc as saying that some documents posted on WikiLeaks which allege that Robert Pearson, former US Ambassador to Turkey, accused him of being a mischief-maker, should be regarded as a slap across the face of those who accuse him of being a servant of the United States. Describing the terms used about him in the alleged documents as "rude and silly", Arinc added: "People who are trying to figure out why the United States is disliked in some countries should also take the stupidities of those diplomats into consideration."

    A report in Hurriyet quotes a high-ranking official of the US Government as saying that American diplomats in Ankara are facing difficulties in making appointments with their counterparts in Turkey after the release of the WikiLeaks documents. The same official said that there is distrust toward Americans in Ankara.

    Hurriyet columnist Hadi Uluengin argues that the release of diplomatic documents by WikiLeaks which he describes as a gang constitutes theft which must be punished. He notes: "Meanwhile, Yankee diplomats have performed duties assigned to them like all other diplomats in the world in spite of the fact that they have upset others because their correspondence contained subjective ideas and conclusions."

    Milliyet columnist Kadri Gursel analyzes the possible effects of WikiLeaks documents on Iran, saying that the documents have clearly shown that various Arab countries are in favour of a military attack on Iran. He comments: "If Israel eventually attacks Iran, the international community would know that Israel is not alone in this region and that almost all major Sunnite Arab states would want to see successful results emerging from Israel's operation. Arabs would not be convincing even if they condemn it." He concludes by saying that WikiLeaks documents have intensified pressure on Iran while Turkey is being gradually ostracized by Sunni countries in the Middle East because of what he describes as Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu's ideological and unrealistic diplomacy.

    b) Debates over police brutality

    In an article in Hurriyet Daily News entitled "The land of tolerance", columnist Yusuf Kanli says that a recent police attack on a group of university students during a protest in Istanbul is a vivid demonstration of the direction that Turkey has been heading for some time. Kanli likens Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to an Ottoman sultan and says: "His daughter is most welcome at all state events but other young people are all unwelcome in the vicinity of any place where the sultan might be attending an event. People might stage a protest if and only if His Majesty invites them to stage a demonstration. Confused a little bit? Is this a democratic country, or more like Saddam Hussein's Iraq?"

    In an article in Milliyet, columnist Taha Akyol advises the government and the police to treat university students staging protests leniently rather than taking draconian measures against them. Pointing out that excessive police force during the recent protest in Istanbul provoked students instead of serving as a deterrent.

    In an article in Star entitled "You should know that there is a big trap", columnist Samil Tayyar draws attention to intelligence reportedly gathered by the National Intelligence Agency and the police indicating that there is a plan to escalate student protests into nationwide protests against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP). He says that the AKP and the police should act prudently while dealing with protestors. Moreover, he advises university students against falling into a trap set by those who attempt to exploit their excitement and demands for setting the stage for a military coup.

    Cumhuriyet columnist Zeynep Oral criticizes the government for not taking disciplinary action against police officers resorting to violence. She cautions that the police will continue to use excessive force against protestors if the government does not remove Istanbul Police Chief Huseyin Capkin who, she notes, was accused of tolerating torture in the past.

    c) Kurdish question

    Milliyet columnist Fikret Bila comments on the idea of setting up city assemblies put forward by the Democratic Society Congress (DTK), saying that the proposal is actually a part of PKK leader Abdullah Ocalan's 'four-pronged paradigm." Bila also draws attention to a draft constitution being prepared by the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), in order to ensure that all ethnic and religious groups in Turkey can form their own political parties, stressing that such arrangements would be irreconcilable with Turkey's unitary structure and the concept of citizenship. He cautions: "Advocating the opinion that national and political unity would be strengthened in Turkey if its citizens establish their own political parties and organizations based on their ethnic origins and faiths would be tantamount to deliberately turning a blind eye to facts."

    In an article entitled "Ocalan extends an olive branch to Gulen," Vatan columnist Rusen Cakir says that Ocalan's comments about the Gulen Community are of historic importance because the Kurdish political movement regards the group as a threat bigger than the AKP. He notes: "Ocalan has apparently understood that it would not be possible to take steps toward a solution while confronting the Gulen movement. I can say that his analysis is sagacious. His remarks about Gulen and his movements should be interpreted as instructions which are binding on all components of the Kurdish political movement. Thus, we should not be surprised if Kurdish politicians involved in legal and illegal activities make surprising statements and take surprising steps."

    d) Police raid on navy unit

    A report in Taraf says that a public prosecutor in charge of the Ergenekon probe and a team from the organized crime division of the Istanbul Police Department discovered sensational documents in a secret compartment under the ceiling of a commander's office during a police raid on the Navy Command in Golcuk. According to the report, the documents contain information about the period between 1996 and 1998. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION

    http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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