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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-05-04
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 82/11 04.05.11 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS
[B] TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESSThe demolition of Saint Thekla chapel in occupied Vokolida area, the meeting of the "president" of the "autonomous republic" of Gagauzia with Dervis Eroglu and Hasan Bozer, threats by some Turkish Cypriot bus drivers against a Greek Cypriot bus driver who was carrying tourists to occupied Keryneia, celebrations on the occasion of the "Day of Turkism", and other internal issues are some topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. Moreover, all the newspapers, most of them on their front page, refer to statements made by Archbishop Chrysostomos II to Greek Sky TV. The papers give emphasis to the claim that the Republic of Cyprus deceived the European Union to accept it as its member.
 Saint Thekla chapel in occupied Vokolida has been demolished; Saint Panteleymon monastery in occupied Myrtou is about to collapseUnder the title "They demolished the Saint Thekla chapel with bulldozers", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (04.05.11) reports that the night before yesterday Saint Thekla chapel at the coast of occupied Vokolida village was demolished with a bulldozer. The paper notes that the chapel was demolished with the pretext that one of its walls had collapsed and posed danger.
The Evkaf Religious Foundation and the so-called antiquities and museums department complained to the "police" about the demolition of the chapel. After the complaint, the operator of the bulldozer was taken into custody. The chapel was next to a hotel under the name of "Noah's Ark", which is expected to start operating next month.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.05.11) reports that Saint Panteleymon church and monastery in occupied Myrtou village is about to collapse, if it is not restored soon. Former muhtar of occupied Myrtou Seyfi Tunelci told Kibris that the church and the monastery should be restored and protected as a place of historical and cultural value and pointed out to the importance of the place for tourism in the occupied part of the island.
 The economy of the breakaway regime was discussedAccording to illegal Bayrak television (04.05.11), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu hosted today an economy summit. The current situation of the breakaway regime economy and future expectations were discussed in detail during the meeting which started with an opening speech by Eroglu.
Pointing to the need for improvement of the current situation in the occupied area Eroglu said that necessary steps will be taken in order to benefit from the outcome of the meeting, adding that it is important to exchange views over necessary steps to counteract with problems being faced by various economic sectors.
Noting that the program to be finalised at the meeting will be shared with "government officials" and Non-governmental organizations, Eroglu said that participants' views and proposals aimed at ending the economic crisis are of great importance. "The outcome of the meeting will not remain here," Eroglu added.
Representatives of 19 chambers and trade unions participated in the meeting. Sector representatives expressed their views on the economic difficulties being experienced in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Participants also discussed ways of enhancing the competitiveness of the private sector, which is attached to the financial cooperation protocol signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime in November 2009.
The final part of the meeting focused on overall discussions regarding the current economic situation of the breakaway regime and future expectations. Outcomes of the meeting will be compiled into a report which will then be distributed to all self-styled government and public offices.
 Bozer said that the so-called parliament will attempt to gain representation at the Inter-Parliamentary UnionAccording to illegal Bayrak television (04.05.11), self-styled speaker of the "TRNC assembly" Hasan Bozer, evaluating the "parliament's goals" for 2011 to illegal Bayrak television, said that the so-called assembly is preparing to hold significant foreign contacts in order to provide remedy for the problems being faced in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus as a result of the Cyprus problem.
He announced that the self-styled TRNC parliament will insist on gaining its representation at the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Within the framework of efforts to gain representation at the European Parliament, a parliamentary delegation will hold a series of contacts in Germany next month. Delegation members will also hold discussions on the Cyprus problem and the direct trade regulation.
Bozer also pointed out that "draft laws" to amend various "laws" are also on the so-called parliament's agenda. Bozer also referred to the work carried out by "parliamentary committees" on various matters, such as harmonization with the European Union, political parties and public referendum.
 Ozgurgun comments on Archbishop Chrysostomos' statementsAccording to illegal Bayrak television ("BRT") (04.05.11), self-styled foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun, speaking on "BRT" yesterday evening, commented on the latest statements made by the Cypriot Archbishop Chrisostomos II, and added that the Turkish Cypriot side has been voicing this from the very beginning. He also said that "the Greek Cypriot side's one-sided EU membership is an obstacle in the way for a solution to the Cyprus problem".
Ozgurgun also said that the Cypriot Archbishop's words proved just how right the former EU Commissioner for Enlargement G?nter Verheugen was when he told reporters he felt deceived by the Greek Cypriot side.
Also commenting on recent statements made by the Greek Cypriot AKEL party's Secretary General Andros Kyprianu that their borders are in the occupied Keryneia, Ozgurgun described such statements as provocative.
He also expressed concern over ELAM organization, which has become a political party and which is believed to be the continuation of EOKA.
 A Greek Cypriot bus driver was threatened by Turkish Cypriot driversUnder the title "They retaliated", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.05.11) reports that a Greek Cypriot bus driver carrying tourists to occupied Keryneia was threatened yesterday by some Turkish Cypriot drivers. The paper argues that this happened after a recent verbal attack against a Turkish Cypriot bus driver at Larnaka Airport by some members of the security and the police.
Orhan Tolun, a Turkish Cypriot businessman in the field of tourism and director of a company named "Unique Cyprus Travel", stated that this was "retaliation" against the Greek Cypriot bus driver. He noted that these are not pleasant incidents and will harm tourism in the breakaway regime.
The Greek Cypriot bus driver carried tourists to the occupied area of Cyprus on behalf of the "Unique Cyprus Travel". It is claimed that some Turkish Cypriot drivers told him the following: "Go away. Do not come to the north again. Otherwise we will not be responsible for whatever happens to your vehicle". It is alleged that these persons, who waited for the Greek Cypriot driver at Keryneia Gate in the occupied part of Lefkosia, were Turkish Cypriot drivers members of the Union of Public Vehicles' Operators (KAR-IS).
Tolun said that he called the "police" of the regime as soon as he found out about the incident and added that the Greek Cypriot driver carried safely the tourists to occupied Keryneia.
Fuat Topaloglu, chairman of the Union of Public Vehicles' Operators (KAR-IS), has alleged that they did not threaten or swear at the above-mentioned Greek Cypriot bus driver. He said they do not want the Greek Cypriot drivers of commercial vehicles to cross over to the occupied part of Cyprus until an agreement is reached by the leaders at the Cyprus negotiations. He noted that some drivers "advised" the Greek Cypriot bus driver at the Keryneia Gate not to cross over to the occupied part of Cyprus again. Topaloglu said that according to the "laws" of the breakaway regime, Greek Cypriot buses cannot cross over to the occupied area of the island and added that two Greek Cypriot buses took yesterday tourists from a hotel in occupied Keryneia and carried them to the government-controlled area of the island. He said that they informed the "police" on this issue.
 Gagauzia's "independent autonomous republic's governor" met with Eroglu and BozerIllegal Bayrak (03.05.11) reports that the "president [governor] of the autonomous republic of Gagauzia", Mikhail Formuzal, who is in the occupied area of Cyprus upon an invitation he received by the rector of the illegal Near East University ("YDU"), met with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the "speaker" of the so-called assembly Hasan Bozer. During his meetings, Formuzal said that his country wanted to develop relations with the occupation regime.
Formuzal first met with Bozer. Speaking during the visit, Bozer said that they attach great importance to such visits, stressing that the Gagauz people were a Turkish community.
After meeting Formuzal, Eroglu stressed that the relations between Gagauzia and the occupied areas will be further developed. Eroglu also expressed his happiness for the education received by Gagauz students in "TRNC" universities.
On his part, Formuzal reminded that there are currently 36 students from Gagauzia studying in the "TRNC". He said that they aim to raise this number and to improve relations between Gagauzia and the occupied areas.
 Fifteen thousand buildings remain unfinished or without a "title deed" in occupied CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (04.05.11) reports that the constructions sector in the occupied part of Cyprus, which thrived during the Annan Plan period and now faces serious problems, is looking for ways to come out of the crisis. The paper writes that a project is expected for bringing into the economy of the regime thousands of buildings, which remained unfinished because of the bankruptcy of the companies that were building them, or because a "title deed" cannot be given for them in spite of the fact that they are completed.
According to a research conducted by Kibris, around 15 thousand buildings are now unexploited in the occupied part of Cyprus. Some of these buildings have been finished but it was not possible to find a purchaser and some others could not be sold for various reasons.
The paper writes that most of these buildings are villas. It notes that if the average value of each of these is estimated at around 100 thousand pound sterling, then their total value is 1.5 billion pound sterling.
Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (04.05.11) reports that Cafer Gurcafer, chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Building Contractors Union, stated yesterday that the occupied part of Cyprus, which should have been a "paradise for tourism", has been turned into a "hell full of criminals". He said the number of the unemployed persons exceeded 15 thousand because of the fact that some persons, who were working in the government-controlled area of the island, lost their jobs due to the economic crisis. He said his organization submitted some proposals to the "government" on the employment of these persons. He criticized the fact that without asking his union the "government" prepared and submitted to the "assembly" a "draft-law" which will increase the illegal building contractors.
 "3 May, Turkism Day" has been celebrated in the occupied areaTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (04.03.11) reports that the "Young Fighters Association" as well as the Yenicag Student's Platform organized yesterday a conference entitled "Turkism conference" in order to celebrate the "Turkism Day".
As the paper writes, former Turkish Cypriot leader Rauf Denktas, the veteran military officer Ozug Kalelioglu, the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot Fighters' Association (KTMD) Vural Turkmen and others were among the participants at the conference.
Speaking during the conference, Kalelioglu stated, inter alia, that the four anticipated threats against Turkey and the Turkish nation are: "Hellenism-Megali Idea", "The Armenian issue", "The Kurdish-Division movements" and "the religious sects".
Explaining what Megali Idea is, Kalelioglu said that it is the "capture of Istanbul and the re-establishment of the Byzantine Empire" alleging that Greece confronts Turkey as its "single enemy" and thus follows a policy which supports everything which is against Turkey.
 "Grey Wolves" march in occupied Keryneia has been postponedTurkish Cypriot daily Afrika (04.05.11) reports that the march which was to be organized by "Grey Wolves" in occupied Keryneia last night under the title "3 May, Turkism Day" has been postponed due to the fact that the "official authorities" of the breakaway regime did not gave the necessary permit for the organization of the march.
The participants in the activity were to march towards the Ataturk's monument holding flags of Turkey, Azerbaijan and the breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus.
 "The aim is an oncology centre"Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (04.05.11), in its front page under the title "The aim in TRNC is an oncology centre", reports that self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk met yesterday with Hakki Kelesoglu, Chairman of the administrative board of the Education and Aid Foundation Bekir Sacide Kelesoglu (BESKVA).
Kelesoglu, who participated in the Turkish invasion to Cyprus in 1974 as a commander, said that during that time he had the opportunity to meet with the leader of the Turkish Cypriot community Dr Fazil Kucuk.
He also said that they are planning to open a branch of their foundation (BESKVA) in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, adding that they also want to take initiative on the matter of an oncology centre and they carry out meetings with different associations in the occupied area.
Kucuk, for his part, expressed his satisfaction of Kelesoglu's initiatives and meetings in the occupied area, adding that the Turkish Cypriot "people" will be content in case the medical capabilities that exist in Turkey are transferred in the occupied area.
 Column wonders if Meral Eroglu can be the owner of a 700 year old church"Medya TIK" column in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (04.05.11) comments on a news item that was published last weekend in Poli magazine. According to the news, the 700 year old church of Saint Nicolas in Famagusta is property of Meral Eroglu, wife of the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. The column wonders how it is possible a 700 year old historic monument to be someone's private property and calls for clarifications on this matter.
[B] TURKISH PRESSTurkish Prime Minister Erdogan's statements that words failed in Libya and his warning to Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to step down immediately; his reactions towards CHP and MHP which have nominated suspects of Ergenekon case as candidate MPs. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu waking up the Turkish President Abdullah Gul in the middle of the night to get permission to close down the Turkish embassy in Tripoli; the video from the operation that killed Bin Laden and the viewing in the White House; reactions by NGOs regarding the freedom of press in Turkey; a new regulation concerning internet services, which enables the state to decide on the web-sites to be visited by internet users and other internal issues are the main subjects in today's Turkish press.
 Davutoglu met with his Danish counterpartAnkara Anatolia news agency (03.05.11) reported on the meeting of the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu with his Danish counterpart Lene Espersen in Ankara.
Speaking at a joint news conference with Espersen, Davutoglu said that Turkey has been closely monitoring the underway legal process against Roj TV on charges that it broadcasts programs encouraging terrorism. "Recent developments have shown that terrorism is a crime against humanity," Davutoglu said.
Asked if there would be any change in Turkey's foreign policy after the killing of Osama bin Laden, Davutoglu said that killing bin Laden was a landmark in the fight against international terrorism and underlined that "Turkey has an ongoing point of view on the matter and there is no need for a change in this policy". Davutoglu said Turkey's stance was definite and clear on the matter, and underlined that: "Turkey actually has a principled foreign policy. However, we expect the entire world to maintain the same determination against all terrorist organizations and be in solidarity with Turkey on the matter." "Efforts should be exerted for a world where terrorism does not exist," he added.
Referring to relations between Turkey and Denmark, Davutoglu said: "Although the bilateral relations progress well, high ranking visits should be increased." Davutoglu said that the Danish Queen invited Turkish President Abdullah Gul to visit the country and noted that talks between the Governments and Ministries of the two countries will continue. "There is a close cooperation between Turkey and Denmark in the fight against terrorism," he said.
Referring to economic relations between Turkey and Denmark, Davutoglu said the two countries had an actual 1.5 billion USD trade volume. "Actual trade volume is behind the potential. Relations will be further improved in an economic sense," he said.
Davutoglu also said that Turkey's relations with the European Union (EU) were assessed in detail saying: "Denmark will take over the rotating presidency of the EU in the first half of 2012. We have underlined that Turkey expects loyalty to EU principles. The EU should display a more open stance regarding the future course of the talks."
Davutoglu finally said that readmission and visa procedures were also discussed during the meeting, adding that "we also focused on recent developments in the region, mainly Libya."
On her part, the Danish Foreign Minister Mrs Espersen said that Turkey, an important partner of EU and a NATO ally, is a European country and a strategic ally and more than an EU candidate country. Espersen said that Turkey and Denmark are allies and share many common interests and values. Expressing hope to raise trade between the two countries, she said that the Danish Government attaches great importance to strengthening political and commercial ties. Espersen said Turkey is an important partner of Europe in the Middle East, adding that Denmark appreciated Turkey's active role in relations with Libya.
Asked whether the Danish Government would take a new step for suspension of terrorist organization PKK's Roj TV broadcasting from Denmark, Espersen said that such a decision could only be made by the Danish courts and the Government was not able to intervene in courts. She said Danish judges would announce a ruling on Roj TV case in August.
 Gul continues his contacts in AustriaTurkish daily Today;s Zaman (03.05.11) reported that, in a visit that marks the first presidential-level visit to the country in 13 years, Turkey's President Abdullah Gul is busy attending several business-related events in Austria. Following the tradition for such visits, Gul brought a group of academics and businessmen with him to Austria in order to boost the economic relationship between the two countries.
On the second day of his three-day visit to Austria, President Gul, along with Turkey's Chief EU Negotiator Egemen Bagis, met with the CEOs of several Austrian corporations at a working breakfast, where the Investment Support and Promotion Agency of Turkey (ISPAT) officials made a presentation on investment opportunities in Turkey. Later in the day, Gul said that the Austrian firms that participated in the breakfast have undertaken important projects in Turkey. "Those business people are aware of what Turkey has to offer," he noted.
On the same day, Gul and his Austrian counterpart Heinz Fisher attended the Austria-Turkey Economic Forum, where Gul spoke about the Nabucco pipeline, which will connect the world's richest gas regions with Europe, from Turkey and ending in Austria. He stressed the fact that Turkey is the best option for a safe alternative energy route to meet the needs of European Union countries.
During his speech at the meeting, Gul stated that the project does not suffer from a lack of funding. Furthermore, he reiterated that there were false claims about monetary problems at the start of the Baku-Ceyhan pipeline project. He said that time had proven those claims wrong, adding: "Whenever necessary, the sufficient funds will be found."
Referring to Turkey's strong economic growth rate of 8.9% in 2010 --the highest in the entire European continent and the third highest worldwide, following China and Argentina-- Gul said that such success is a product of political stability, democratization, international rules and free market conditions, which he said prevail in Turkey. He then invited the Austrian businesspeople to invest in Turkey, where they could do business freely either by themselves or through joint ventures with Turkish partners. He also suggested that both Austrian and Turkish businessmen team up and invest in the countries surrounding Turkey, which could use significant infrastructure investments.
At the meeting, Fischer mentioned that Austrian businessmen in Turkey have successfully managed to operate several important projects. He also invited the Turkish businessmen to engage in the Austrian market.
As the paper reports, with its gross domestic product (GDP) of $379.2 billion, Austria is the world's 23rd biggest economy with a population of almost 8.5 million. According to Turkey's Undersecretariat of Foreign Trade (DTM), the trade volume between Turkey and Austria was around $2.3 billion in 2010. This is the highest it has been since the pre-crisis level of $ 2.5 billion. Turkey's trade deficit with Austria was a record $604 million in 2010, as Turkey's exports to Austria in 2010 stood at $835 million, while imports amounted to around $1.44 billion.
 The Turkish Foreign Minister to attend the Palestinian reconciliation ceremony in CairoAccording to Cihan news agency (03.05.11), Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will be among dignitaries attending a signing ceremony for a reconciliation deal between rival Palestinian factions being hosted in Cairo on Wednesday.
The deal will be signed by the Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas political bureau chief Khaled Meshaal. In addition to Davutoglu, dignitaries attending the signing ceremony will include the Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil al-Arabi, the Egyptian Intelligence Chief General Murad Muwafi, the Arab League Secretary-General Amr Moussa and former US President Jimmy Carter.
This deal is intended to repair ties between Hamas and Fatah and end a bitter divide between the West Bank and Gaza. It was announced last week sending shockwaves all around the world. This reconciliation was reached less than two months after a regime change in Egypt and has been interpreted as a sign that Egypt has gained leverage in the Middle East again. It has also been considered as an indication that Israel will no longer be able to act as it wishes.
 "Turkey urges Gaddafi to leave Libya, approaches Benghazi"Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.05.11) reported that Turkey strongly urged Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi to cede power and leave the country while defining the self-proclaimed Benghazi authority as its only counterpart in Libya, in a clear change of position since the beginning of the crisis.
"A new term has begun in Libya's history. The words are over in the Libyan issue. What needs to be done at this point is that the Libyan leader pulls out from Libya and cedes power immediately," Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters at a press conference in Istanbul on Tuesday. "Muammar Gaddafi should take this historic step for Libya's territorial integrity and peace."
Erdogan's statement came a day after Turkey closed its Embassy in Tripoli due to growing insecurity in the Libyan capital following the killing of Gaddafi's son and his three grandchildren. The closure of the Embassy was followed by Erdogan's statement on Tuesday that 'burned the bridges' with Gaddafi's regime. Under current conditions, Turkey's single diplomatic representation is in Benghazi, under the authority of the Libyan National Congress.
Diplomatic sources dismissed claims that the move meant recognizing the Benghazi authority. "We have already displayed our stance that we take them as a counterpart", sources stated. Italy and France have already recognized the Congress as their official interlocutor.
Recalling that messages dispatched by Turkey were ignored by Gaddafi who preferred blood, tears, pressure and attacks on his own people instead of paying attention to advices and avoiding bloodshed, Erdogan said: "Under current conditions, the best way is to return power to its genuine owners, the Libyan people. Libya is not the property of a single man or one family."
Erdogan signalled that security could be provided to Gaddafi in a host country if he would take "this historic step". "The grief of losing a child and grandchildren is most painful. We know Gaddafi is suffering this pain. We want to remind him that it is inevitable for him to take this step for the Libyan people not to suffer the same pains," he stated. Describing the period in which Libya is passing through as "very difficult", Erdogan said Turkey would continue to contribute to the Libyan people.
Another important message Erdogan gave in his statement was that Turkey would continue to work closely with the Libyan National Congress for the implementation of its road map for the solution of the Libyan crisis. Appealing to the Libyan opposition, Erdogan said: "It is vital that your struggle, your suffering result in an outcome that would embrace the whole Libyan people."
The road map Turkey announced in early April includes reaching a real truce, establishing secure zones and corridors to distribute humanitarian aid to Libyans and starting a political dialogue to begin a democratic transformation process. However, it fell short in satisfying the opposition groups as it did not explicitly call for Gaddafi to leave.
Erdogan said that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu would join the Libya Contact Group meeting that will be held Wednesday in Rome and inform Turkey's partners on the developments.
Describing Turkey's stance vis-a-vis Libya as "humanitarian", Erdogan said they were perfectly aware that some countries launched a smear campaign against Turkey that caused a misperception of the Turkish role among the rebels. "A kind of campaign was launched against Turkey in Libya which aimed at causing indignation among the dissidents though misinformation on Turkey's policies," Erdogan said. "However, Turkey did not lose its cool-headedness and continued to follow a stable and consistent policy."
The country Erdogan described is France though he did not name it in his press conference. Turkey and France emerged as sparring partners within NATO when the alliance discussed how to conduct military operations against Libya.
A group of rebels protested outside Turkey's Consulate in Benghazi last month due to Ankara's insistence in keeping channels open with Gaddafi. Turkey shifted its position after the NATO summit in mid-April and intensified talks with the self-proclaimed Benghazi authority.
Erdogan's press conference also sent messages to Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad. "Hereby, I want to take the advantage of repeating our warnings to all countries in our neighbourhood alongside with Libya. Equality, freedom, justice and democracy are not rights of certain countries and nations but these are legitimate rights of all humanity. Delaying, ignoring and denying these fundamental human rights only reflect suppression and despotism and not justice," he said.
In an emphasis on the changes in the world order, Erdogan said it was unsustainable for leaderships to continue imposing oppression against their own people seeking democracy. "We do not want new (massacres of) Halapja, Hama, Humus and Bosnia."
 Turkey and Iran to work on a new energy road mapAnkara Anatolia news agency (03.05.11) reported that Turkey and Iran are working on a new road map for energy investments, Turkey's Energy Minister said on Tuesday.
Taner Yildiz, who met with Iran's Energy Minister Majid Namjou in Ankara, said during a joint press conference that the new road map would help create new investments in the interest of both countries. Yildiz said the two countries agreed to establish technical committees which would pave the way for private sector investments, especially on renewable energy.
Iran, which holds a significant part of the world's oil and natural gas reserves, is Turkey's second largest energy partner after Russia. Turkey achieved an 8.9% growth rate in 2010. Turkish Government forecasts that Turkey's electricity consumption would double by 2023.
"Turkey knows that Iran, Iraq, Azerbaijan, Russia and Turkmenistan are important supplier countries and that's why we will consider these countries to meet our needs," Yildiz said.
On his part, Namjou said that the new road map was a sign of energy cooperation between the two countries. He said the road map would help double the 500-mw energy exchange capacity between Turkey and Iran. Namjou added that Turkey and Iran would build power plants to produce electrical power from heat and wind.
 Turkish defence industry reported a growth rate of 19% in 2010Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (03.05.11) reported that Turkey's thriving local defence industry reported a growth rate of 19% in 2010, confirming analysts' expectations of "fast and sustainable growth" in the years ahead.
"The Turkish defence industry's total revenue amounted to 2.773 billion USD in 2010, up from 2.319 billion USD in 2009. This is a robust growth," said a late April report released by the Defence Industry Manufacturers' Association (SaSaD) an umbrella organization of Turkish defence industry companies. However, the Turkish industry reported a 5% decline in exports. Total exports stood at 634 million USD last year, down from 669 million USD the previous year. "The slight drop in exports reflects the continuing effects in 2010 of the global financial crisis," said SaSaD.
SaSaD's export figures are different from those of the Undersecretariat for Defence Industries (SSM) the Government's defence procurement agency. While SSM counts civilian aviation exports related to the defence contracts, known as offsets, officially as part of defence exports, SaSaD only counts direct defence sales abroad.
Under SSM's figures, the Turkish defence exports totalled 832 million USD in 2009. SSM's 2010 figures are not yet available.
"The decrease in exports is a temporary trend because from early figures this year we see a major increase in foreign sales," said one SaSaD official. The official figures for 2011 will be available in 2012.
But a senior SSM official said earlier this year that the 2011 export figures would come close to 1.5 billion USD.
Analysts said one reason for "sustainable growth" in the near future for the Turkish industry is heavy investment in research and development (R&D) activity. SaSaD said that in 2010, the defence industry spent 666 million USD on R&D, up 32% from 505 million USD in 2009.
Turkey's domestic defence industry, for the first time, reported that it reached an ambitious objective of meeting more than half of the country's requirements. According to SaSaD, the local industry generated 2.14 billion USD revenues last year from sales to domestic buyers. This accounts for more than half of Turkey's total budget for new equipment and systems worth about an annual 4 billion USD.
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan pledged that Turkey's local defence companies would manufacture indigenous tanks, helicopters, warplanes, UAVs and military satellites in the next 12 years as part of his party's election manifesto for parliamentary polls scheduled for next June. Erdogan has vigorously set out a national strategy to maximize local content in Turkey's defence programs, aiming at what he calls "near self-sufficiency". In recent years, Turkey practically suspended off-the-shelf purchase options, restructuring programs into local development or co-production. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio