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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-01-13

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. 08/11 13.01.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu on the negotiations and Merkel's visit
  • [02] Reaction by Turkish Cypriot politicians on Merkel's statements
  • [03] TDP and BKP blame UBP for measures
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot columnist on the issue of the illegal Turkish settlers
  • [05] US ambassador at a ceremony for the restoration of a mosque
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [06] The Turkish MFA on Merkel's statements
  • [07] Turkish FM expresses disappointment with Merkel's recent remarks on Cyprus
  • [08] Bagis on Merkel's remarks
  • [09] Bagis on the Cyprus issue
  • [10] Highlights

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The main issues in today's Turkish Cypriot newspapers are the reaction to the statements by the German Chancellor Christofias, as well as Eroglu's statements after his meeting with President Christofias. In addition, the US Ambassador's visit to Eroglu, the support extended by TDP and BKP to the trade unions and their accusations against the so-called government, the restoration of a mosque in occupied Famagusta, and other internal matters are also covered by the Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Eroglu on the negotiations and Merkel's visit

    According to illegal Bayrak website (12.01.11), on his return to the "presidential palace" after the meeting with President Christofias yesterday, the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said that though the meeting was very brief, he submitted the Turkish Cypriot response to the proposals put forward by the Greek Cypriot side. Noting that the Greek Cypriot side has asked for some time to evaluate the proposals, he added that this is what will be discussed during the next meeting on January 21. He said the special representatives will intensify their talks during the next two meetings on 19 and January, in an effort to build bridges. He also noted that during the next leaders' meeting Downer will brief the two sides on the tripartite meeting to take place at the end of the month.

    Evaluating German Chancellor Angela Merkel's statements that the Turkish Cypriots are not responding to initiatives put forward by the Greek Cypriot side, Eroglu said "these statements harmed both the TRNC and Turkey" and added that "Merkel made the statements without getting the views of the Turkish Cypriots".

    Eroglu said: "It is a major mistake on the part of the German Chancellor to make comments just by looking at the north from a UN observation post at the buffer zone". He said: "The German Chancellor has made a statement by hiding behind a very small state. Germany should know that both parties should be listened to before making such statements. She has made a major mistake."

    [02] Reaction by Turkish Cypriot politicians on Merkel's statements

    According to illegal Bayrak website (12.01.11), self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk, speaking before the weekly session of the so-called council of ministers meeting, sharply criticized the German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her statements on the Cyprus issue.

    Kucuk defined Merkel's remarks as a show and part of a pre-planned scenario. He added: "It is not possible for an experienced politician like Angela Merkel to act without knowing the policies in Cyprus", describing Merkel's statement as ill-intended. Pointing out that Merkel's remarks came at a time when the United Nations Secretary-General is contributing to the resumption of the process, Kucuk said it is impossible not to regard as strange such statements by a European Prime Minister when positive developments are taking place.

    A press release by self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun on the same issue described the statements regrettable as well as unfortunate, having no relation with reality.

    Recalling that it was the Greek Cypriot side that rejected the Annan Plan which was supported by Germany, EU member countries and the entire international arena and not the Turkish Cypriot side, Ozgurgun said: "Even the UN Secretary-General has noted the Turkish Cypriot side's constructive proposals in his latest Cyprus report". Such statements only encourage the Greek Cypriot side's intransigent stance and will only lead to the continuation of the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, he concluded.

    Moreover, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (13.01.11) the "presidential spokesman" Osman Ertug said, inter alia, that these statements will not contribute to the efforts for reconciliation. Osman Ertug said that they consider Angela Merkel's statements regrettable and added that it is obvious that unilateral visits in Cyprus and the unfair support expressed, do not contribute to the efforts exerted for reconciliation, especially at this critical stage of the negotiations.

    On the same issue, Huseyin Ozgurgun, self-styled foreign minister, expressed regret for Merkel's statements, saying that statements like "The Greek Cypriot side is ready for an honourable agreement, the Turkish side does not respond to these steps", are unfortunate and beyond reality.

    Also, Bengu Sonay, General Secretary of the Democratic Party (DP) stated that the ongoing negotiation process in Cyprus is not held under the auspices of the EU but the UN, adding that the steps to be taken by the sides to reach a solution are not up to Angela Merkel but the UN.

    Turgay Avci, General Secretary of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), reacted to Merkel's statements and called on her to look at history closer in order to understand the Cyprus problem better.

    Reaction on Merkel's statements was also expressed by the Turkish Resistance Organization in Cyprus (TMT). In a written statement, Vural Turkmen, chairman of the "association" said that Merkel has paid one-day visit to South Cyprus in order to show the ugly and double-face of the EU.

    (AK)

    [03] TDP and BKP blame UBP for measures

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (13.01.11) reports that the general chairman of the Social Democratic Party (TDP) announced his full support to the actions of the Trade Unions Platform against the wrong decisions implemented by the government. He accused UBP's administration of "setting the country on fire, forcing the people to migrate, through implementation of Ankara's package" and said that these measures will never be accepted.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (13.01.11) reports that Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) along with other members of the party met yesterday with the Confederation of Revolutionary Unions. In a joint press conference prior to the meeting, Izcan argued that the Turkish Cypriot society is under attack, that the "country" is going through a critical stage and is at the point of a breakdown. He also supported the view that in the framework of the economic protocol, signed by the "UBP government" in cooperation with AKP government in Ankara, they are attempting to violate the rights of workers, pensioners and all professionals and lead the Turkish Cypriots to extinction through poverty and imposed migration.

    [04] Turkish Cypriot columnist on the issue of the illegal Turkish settlers

    Writing in his daily column in Turkish Cypriot Kibris newspaper (13.01.11), Mehmet Hasguler refers to the issue of the illegal Turkish settlers in the occupied areas of Cyprus under the title "'When Turk goes and Turk comes'" [Tr. Note: "Turk goes and Turk comes" was used as a reply to those who had been reacting in the past to the inflow of Turkish settlers to the occupied part of Cyprus]. Hasguler notes that many children in the centre of the occupied part of Lefkosia spend their time not at school, but doing other things for hours when they should be at school.

    "With these pictures it is as if the Turkish Cypriots returned to the period between the two Great Wars. Or it is like looking at the pictures of migration during the incidents of 1963-64", writes Hasguler adding, inter alia, the following:

    "The children who are here belong to all of us. They are here now. All of them are our reality. The place where the mothers or the fathers of the children were born is meaningless any more. They also migrated from various villages of Anatolia and came to these ancient lands in order to continue their lives.

    There is a serious debate today on the issue of the population. In fact the issue of the population, the migration, has never ended in the TRNC... Everybody has great many views on the issue..."

    Hasguler then refers to the history of the Turkish Cypriots starting from the British colonial rule until today. He says the Turkish Cypriots have always attached great importance to the education of their children. They could remain hungry but they would have their children educated, he notes. Hasguler says he remembers that, especially in the 1980's, the "authorities" of the regime were concerned who would work in the fields and the farms if everyone was a university graduates.

    He adds: "It was like yesterday, when in 1975 Turkey's Council of Ministers took a decision, with the classification of 'top secret', to overcome the lack of agricultural labour force in the Turkish Cypriot Federated State (KTFD). With this decision the migration from Turkey to Cyprus was accepted and those who came were given plots of land, citrus fruits' gardens as well as places to settle in various areas. The children of those who had come then, are married today and have their own children. That is, the grandchildren of those who came first are now university students.

    The situation of those who came with the Annan Plan is a little bit different. While before, people came based on a specific need and were placed into a certain jobs by the state, the situation of those who have been coming over the last years is not very bright any more. These people constitute the aspect of labour exploitation during the property looting created by the Annan Plan. Most of them were forced to work day and night, they were exploited..."

    Hasguler recalls that even the former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas stated recently that Turkey should ask the Turkish tourists how much money they have before permitting them to travel to the occupied part of Cyprus. He recalls that in the past, Denktas used the expression "Turk goes and Turk comes" to reply to the opposition leaders who criticized him on the issue of the settlers. "Even Denktas has accepted now the gravity of the situation", he notes.

    The columnist also refers to a statement issued some time ago by the "Bakers' Union" which said they produce 800.000 breads everyday and notes that the bakeries of the army are not included in this figure. He points out that the system of offering services in the fields of health, education, "justice", public order etc has been established taking into consideration that the population is 200.000 in the occupied areas. He notes the population has at least doubled this a long time ago.

    Hasguler refers to statistics given by the "State Planning Organization", according to which the rate of growth of the population in the occupied areas of Cyprus was around 1% in the period 1999-2005, while this rate climbed to 16.9% in 2006. "What does this mean? It means that officially there was a population boom in 2006. Even China or India have not such a population growth rate", he notes.

    Hasguler describes the issue of population as the "most urgent problem" in the occupied areas of Cyprus and expresses the view that a population census should be held, noting that after this, they might be forced to prepare their plans for the future taking into consideration a population of 800.000 and not 200.000.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] US ambassador at a ceremony for the restoration of a mosque

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (13.01.10) reports that the restoration-reinforcement of Sinan Pasa Mosque, also known as Bugday (Wheat) Mosque (built by a Syrian merchant named Simone Nostrano in 1360), in occupied Famagusta, has been completed. The project began on September 15 of 2010 and as it is reported, the inauguration ceremony will take place on January 13 in the presence of the US ambassador to Cyprus Frank Ubrancic.

    According to the paper, the restoration project was undertaken jointly by the EVKAF (religious and charitable trust) Administration and the Supporting Activities that Value the Environment (SAVE) project. The budget of the project reached 339,500 Turkish Lira (around 170 thousand Euros).

    Daily Vatan reports that the US ambassador Ubrancic visited the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu yesterday at the so-called presidential palace to wish him quick recovery. No statements were made.


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Statements by Turkish Cypriot and Turkish politicians on Merkel's statements in Cyprus, statements by Dervis Eroglu after yesterday's meeting with President Demetris Christofias, the written statement by the German government spokesman in response to Erdogan, reports that the French Prime Minister Nicola Sarkozy is expected to visit Turkey by the end of February, and statements by Erdogan regarding the constitutional amendments in Turkey are some of the main issues covered by today's Turkish press.

    [06] The Turkish MFA on Merkel's statements

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.01.11), the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said on Wednesday that the German Chancellor Angela Merkel's recent statements on Cyprus stemmed from a mistake or wrong briefing.

    The Turkish MFA said that it would be beneficial if Merkel received information on the Cyprus negotiations from the United Nations (UN) and other relevant organizations as soon as possible.

    "In news stories published after Merkel's visit to southern Cyprus on January 11, 2011, we have noticed that she made certain comments on the attitude of Turkish Cypriots and Greek Cypriots in the negotiation process taking place under the auspices of the UN. Merkel's remarks on Cyprus stemmed from wrong briefing or she was mistaken", the Turkish MFA said in its statement.

    "The Turkish side has exerted great efforts for a comprehensive solution in the island and continues to do so. The efforts of Turkish Cypriots played a great role in the progress made in Cyprus and the new ideas and offers of Turkish Cypriots received appreciation from the UN team. In a Good Will Mission report published on November 24, 2010, the UN Secretary-General affirmed the constructive role played by the Turkish Cypriots", the Turkish MFA said.

    "When such is the case, it is thought-provoking to see the Chancellor of Germany, a temporary member of the UN Security Council, make remarks by receiving information only from Greek Cypriots. Chancellor Merkel's remarks have shown the necessity of having talks with both sides in Cyprus (...). It is clear that Chancellor Merkel, who in the past made remarks that letting the Greek Cypriots in the European Union (EU) before the Cyprus issue was solved was a mistake, was misguided on the negotiations process in Cyprus, the Turkish MFA added.

    [07] Turkish FM expresses disappointment with Merkel's recent remarks on Cyprus

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 12.01.11) with the above title reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, speaking at a joint press conference with Saudi Arabia's Minister of Foreign Affairs Saud al-Faysal bin Abd al-Aziz Al Saud in Ankara, said that "Germany could play an important role in the Cyprus issue. Yet, this crucial role cannot take place by listening to only one side in Cyprus. This role could take place by listening to both sides".

    "Turkey always wished Germany would play a more active role in Cyprus. We always thought that Germany can make an important contribution in Cyprus. However, Merkel's recent remarks on Cyprus have caused disappointment in Turkey. Merkel and Germany have to display an objective stance in Cyprus in order to be able to contribute to the process", Davutoglu said.

    "We are about to enter a critical stage on Cyprus and Turkish-EU relations. It is our natural right to expect all sides to assume an objective stance", Davutoglu also said.

    [08] Bagis on Merkel's remarks

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (12.01.11), Turkey's State Minister and Chief negotiator for the EU talks Egemen Bagis, speaking to reporters before flying to Hungary, referred to Chancellor Angela Merkel's visit to Cyprus. He said Merkel had voiced a historic mistake and a historic blunder just to make overtures to the Greek Cypriot side. "However, we are determined and we will continue to tell the truth," Bagis.

    Bagis is attending a meeting of EU members and candidate states in Hungary. He said he will have the opportunity to meet executives of participating countries and explain Turkey's positions on its EU membership bid.

    "Hungary is a country we attach importance to, and we regard as a friend, and we supported Hungary during its NATO candidacy," Bagis pointed out adding that Hungary backs Turkey's EU membership bid.

    [09] Bagis on the Cyprus issue

    According to A.A. (12.01.11), Turkish State Minister and Chief Negotiator for EU talks Egemen Bagis said that Turkey is entering a very difficult phase of its EU membership talks.

    "Turkish people are running out of patience, and the Turkish government wants EU to focus on the talks sincerely", added Bagis who met with members of Luxembourg's Parliamentary Commission on Foreign and European Affairs, Defence, Cooperation and Immigration in Istanbul on Wednesday.

    Noting that he briefed the commission members about Turkey and EU relations, Bagis said that the commission members conveyed the support of Luxembourg's government and parliament to Turkey's EU process.

    The Cyprus issue was also discussed during the meeting. Bagis said that Turkey did its best in the Cyprus issue, adding that it was always the Turkish side which brought solution, but the Greek Cypriot party did not take steps sincerely. This cannot continue forever, he noted.

    If there had not been political obstacles, at least 25 chapter headings would have been opened so far in Turkey's negotiations with the EU, said Bagis, adding that the EU should be reasonable and make a decision especially about the Cyprus issue.

    [10] Highlights

    Following are summaries of reports and commentaries of selected items from the Turkish press of 12 January 2011:

    Kurdish issue: bilingualism/Ocalan/Hizbullah

    Guneri Civaoglu in Milliyet concludes the two-part article about his talk with Ocalan's lawyers. He views Ocalan's perspective as explained by his lawyers: "Ocalan thinks that a commission to investigate facts about the past has to be set up. This commission should investigate both the PKK's and the state's activities in the past. ... March 2011 is an important date for PKK because Ocalan is going to evaluate the Kurdish opening and decide whether the cease-fire should be extended to a date after the June 2011 elections." The writer summarizes PKK's approach toward the Hizbullah and the Gulen community as follows: "The PKK considers Mustazaf-Der [Association for Solidarity with the Oppressed] as Hizbullah's unarmed branch. There is a tiff between the Gulen community and Hizbullah, but they are not in a fight. The Gulen community is blamed for assimilating Kurds through religion." Guneri Civaoglu concludes: "It is true that Ocalan's record is stained with blood. But it is also a fact that he is now one of the actors that can bring peace and security within Turkey's territorial integrity. Otherwise the state would not engage in a dialogue with him."

    Gengia Candar in Radikal asserts that "Hizbullah has become a fact in the Turkish political equation" and draws attention to rhetorical gestures toward Hizbullah from Ocalan as well as Murat Karayilan: "Ocalan very recently, on 9 January, told his lawyers that a dialog with Hizbullah is possible if Hizbullah members draw lessons from their mistakes and stay on legal grounds from now on. ... Similarly Murat Karayilan from Qandil was calling Hizbullah not to be a part of 'Kurds against Kurds' policy." Given "Hizbullah's potential in politics," Candar concludes: "It remains to be seen how Hizbullah is going to define its role and its relationship with the state. At the same time the ruling Justice and Development Party [AKP] should also define its position toward Hizbullah."

    Utku Cakirozer in Cumhuriyet reports that the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) is going to change its stance on bilingualism: The prevailing tendency in the CHP is to support the teaching of languages besides Turkish, but to oppose education in languages other than Turkish.

    "Military flights and the TSK's new political move"

    Yeni Safak columnist Ali Bayramoglu criticizes the Turkish Armed Forces (TSK) for "conducting flights over Greek islands" in the Aegean Sea while Greek Prime Minister Papandreou was visiting the Turkish city of Erzurum. He argues that the military is deliberately intervening in politics, reminding the Government of the "immutable" Establishment opinion on the continental shelf issue, and trying to influence the course of the ongoing Turkish-Greek negotiations in carrying out such flights. He also claims that the flights suggest where Turkey stands in its current civilianization project.

    Campaign against ruling AKP?

    Yeni Akit columnist Abdurrahman Dilipak warns of what he refers to as preparations by the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) the Nationalist Action Party (MHP) and the Democratic Party (DP) to launch a campaign against the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) ahead of the general election in June, adding that efforts to undermine support for the AKP will include student demonstrations as well as "republican rallies" organized by the Kemalist Thought Association and the Association for Promoting Modern Life. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio


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