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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-05-09

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. 85/11 07-09.05.11

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Kucuk wants the EU to "encourage the Greek Cypriots to adopt a constructive stance"
  • [02] Atalay says religious vocational schools and theological faculty must be established in occupied Cyprus
  • [03] Kucuk said that Saint Thekla chapel in occupied Vokolida to be reconstructed
  • [04] Decisions of the so-called council of ministers
  • [05] "Akca: the rallies were held for money"
  • [06] More reaction on Akca's statements
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot daily sees conditions for launching a separate process for the occupied closed city of Varosha after the recent decision of ECHR
  • [08] Final candidates for CTP's leadership announced
  • [09] "The opposition lost its bearings"
  • [10] Schulz 's contacts in the occupied area
  • [11] "A gaffe by Eroglu on history textbooks"
  • [12] Eroglu met with ambassadors
  • [13] The Basilica of Agia Triada in occupied Karpassia is being neglected
  • [14] Patients with thalassaemia visit the hospitals of the Republic of Cyprus for their treatment
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [15] The UN Chief in Turkey; Statements on the Cyprus problem
  • [16] Erdogan and Gul's messages for the Europe Day
  • [17] "There is another actor in Cyprus from now on: Turcocypriots"
  • [18] Bagis on Turkey's EU bid and the upcoming Turkish elections
  • [19] Gul on Turkey's economy
  • [20] Columnist views the results of MetroPOLL survey on Turkey's hot issues
  • [21] Turkish, US Companies lay foundation of F135 Fighter engine factory in Izmir

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    The message by Kucuk on the occasion of Europe Day, the decision of the "council of ministers" regarding the occupied Saint Thekla chapel and other issues, statements by the Turkish "ambassador" to occupied Lefkosia during a visit to Yeni Duzen newspaper and his meeting with Eroglu, are the main issues reported by the Turkish Cypriot press. In addition, the announcement of the final candidates for CTP's leadership, a written statement by Avci evaluating the situation in the occupied area, Schulz's contacts with so-called officials, criticism to Eroglu's statements during the inauguration of the intercommunal Home for Cooperation, reports that the Basilica of Agia Triada in occupied Karpassia is being neglected, and other internal issues were also covered by the press during the weekend.

    [01] Kucuk wants the EU to "encourage the Greek Cypriots to adopt a constructive stance"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.05.11) reports that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk has alleged that the accession of a divided island into the European Union (EU) is contrary to the values of the Union. In a message issued yesterday on the occasion of Europe Day, Kucuk said: "I believe that in order for correcting their mistake, the EU leaders should encourage the Greek Cypriot side, which now is obviously the side which is not willing to accept an agreement at the ongoing negotiations, to adopt a constructive stance".

    Kucuk said that thanks to the technical aid provided by the EU, his so-called government exerts intensive efforts for implementing in the occupied area of Cyprus the practices which make the life of the Europeans easier and secure a healthy and good quality life for them.

    Kucuk noted that seven "laws" providing for the harmonization of the breakaway regime with the EU are currently discussed at the "EU Commission" established by the "assembly" and added that during the forthcoming period, another 20 "laws" are expected to be sent to the "assembly".

    He claimed: "However, the fact that our country is still condemned living under isolations does not allow for our relations with the EU to be at the desired level. In spite of this, the Turkish Cypriot people show a great determination for the harmonization with the EU?"

    Meanwhile, according to the paper, the Representation of the EU in Cyprus and the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) will organize various activities in the occupied part of Cyprus on the occasion of the Europe Day. Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, Endre Szabo, Counselor of the Hungarian Embassy to Lefkosia and Gunay Cerkez, president of the chamber will address the various activities.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Atalay says religious vocational schools and theological faculty must be established in occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (09.05.11) reports that Talip Atalay, head of the self-styled religious affairs department of the breakaway regime has argued that "Islam is the most important support that protected Turkism in Cyprus" during its history.

    Addressing a meeting at Ramazanoglu Residence Cultural Centre of Cukurova University in Turkey, Atalay expressed the view that establishing religious vocational schools and theological faculty in Cyprus is a must. The issue of "Evkaf Religious Foundation and its contribution to education" was discussed in the activity organized within the framework of "Evkaf Religious Foundation Week".

    Atalay said it is important that the religious commissaries are educated in vocational schools and theological faculties and therefore such schools should be established in the occupied part of Cyprus. He noted that those who have been educated in Turkey for so many years cannot be adapted to the island when they come back, because some differences exist between Turkey and the occupied part of Cyprus.

    Atalay said that according to some studies, 3-40 villages in Cyprus have been turned into Christian and Greek villages. He noted that Evkaf and the mufti were important institutions in the struggle of the Turkish Cypriots for existence. He said the Ottomans established the Evkaf as soon as they conquered the island and financed some services offered in various fields such as education, religion and culture. He argued that the Turkish Cypriots struggled for the reestablishment of the above institutions which had been abolished during the British colonial rule. He said this struggle lasted until the office of the mufti and the Evkaf were transferred to the Turks in 1953 and 1956 respectively.

    Alleging that the property of the Evkaf was given away to the Greek Cypriots during the British colonial rule, Atalay said the number of the mosques in Cyprus were around 300 in the 1950's whereas now it decreased to around 190. He noted that even now Evkaf is one of the most important financing resources in almost all the affairs of the Turkish Cypriot community. He pointed out to the activity of Evkaf in the field of education and recalled that the "European University" in occupied Lefka is financed by Evkaf.

    Atalay said that drinking alcohol is not a crime according to the "law", but it is a mistake to open taverns or pubs in the yards of mosques or places next to mosques with the permission of the Evkaf. He noted that "political concerns" are always influential in giving such permits, which should not be given.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (09.05.11) reports that reacting to the statements made by Atalay, Ferdi Sabit Soyer, chairman of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), said Cyprus needs more vocational education rather than religious vocational schools. Soyer noted that religion should not be used as an instrument in politics.

    Moreover, Bengu Sonya, general secretary of the Democratic Party (DP) said that any change should not be contrary to the "structure of the Turkish Cypriot people". He noted that he did not see Atalay's statements, but the Turkish Cypriot community needs innovative changes that will take it forward.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Kucuk said that Saint Thekla chapel in occupied Vokolida to be reconstructed

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (07.05.11, online) reported that in a press statement, the "prime minister's office" announced that the demolished chapel of Saint Thekla in the occupied Vokolida village will be reconstructed.

    According to the statement, the "department of antiquities and museums" was given the instructions for the chapel's reconstruction, similar to its original structure.

    The statement notes that the destruction of the historic chapel constitutes a significant loss to the cultural heritage of the "TRNC", noting that a legal process is launched against those responsible for the destruction.

    The so-called prime ministry stated that during the reconstruction of Saint Thekla chapel, its original materials will be used as much as possible and that the original architectural details will be protected.

    It also reminded of the fact that all churches, chapels and fields owned by the church within the "TRNC" territory are under protection.

    Meanwhile, touching upon the issue at an event, the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk said that preparations for the reconstruction of the chapel are underway.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (09.05.11) reports that the chairman of the Youth branches of United Cyprus Party Kemal Gulercan protested against the destruction of the Saint Thekla chapel in occupied Vokolida. Gulercan in his written statement supports that the demolition of the chapel, alongside with the recent mosque construction works that started in occupied Thermia in the plot of a 14th century church, consist systematic propagation of political Islam in the "country." He argues that the demolition which was characterized as a "mistake done by the buldozer's driver" is an effort to conceal the truth and a "planned massacre," and asked for the immediate reconstruction of the chapel and legal actions against the persons responsible for the demolition.

    On the other hand, Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (09.05.11) on its front page publishes a list with mosques and other religious buildings that have been allegedly destroyed by Greek Cypriots during the period 1958-1974, and wonders who will ask questions about these.

    [04] Decisions of the so-called council of ministers

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (08.05.11) reports on a series of decisions taken by the so-called council of ministers of the breakaway regime. The "council of ministers", which convened under the chairmanship of the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk, inter alia, examined the "privatisation strategic document" regarding privatisations in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and began discussing a "draft law" on the issue.

    In addition, according to the so-called minister of interior and spokesman of the "council of ministers" Nazim Cavusoglu, in order to give an end to the discussions regarding the population in the occupied area, preparations for a new population census have began. As he said, "officials" of the "state planning organisation" ("DPO") have been assigned on the issue.

    Moreover, the "ministers" discussed the possibility of constructing skyscrapers in the occupied area of Keryneia. Considering the reactions created on the issue by civil organisations and people, the so-called ministers decided that from now on, the buildings constructed in occupied Keryneia will not exceed 10 floors and will not be taller than 34 metres.

    [05] "Akca: the rallies were held for money"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (07.05.11), with the above title in its front page, reports that Halil Ibrahim Akca, self-styled ambassador of Turkey to the occupied areas paid a courtesy visit yesterday to the Turkish Cypriot newspaper Yeni Duzen and met with the paper's editor-in-chief Cenk Mutluyakali, and other journalists.

    During the meeting, Akca sent the message that he will protect up to the end the economy package, which is followed by the government officials of Turkey and the breakaway regime. He said: "My duty is to inspect whether the programme is implemented or not".

    Referring to the rallies, Akca summarized the demand of thousands gathered at occupied Inonu square in one word: money, adding that their general demand was Turkey to give them more money.

    Akca said that if there is a decision to expel those who have Turkey's citizenship, they should inform first the "Turkish embassy", adding that they will examine the reasons of deportation according to the "agreement" on human rights.

    [06] More reaction on Akca's statements

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (09.05.11) reports that the leader of the Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) Ferdi Sabit Soyer, in a written statement, criticized Akca's statements during his visit to Yeni Duzen paper, adding that Akca tries to convince everyone that he is right.

    Accusing Akca, who said that the rallies held only for money, Soyer said that the Turkish Cypriots' demand in the rallies was for self-administration and not for money.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.05.11) reports that the leader of the Social Democrat Party (TDP) Mehmet Cakici, criticizing the latest statements by Halil Ibrahim Akca, self-styled ambassador of Turkey to the occupied areas, accused him of behaving as a "governor" and not as an "ambassador", calling him to respect the will and the sensitivities of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Cakici also said that Akca has no right to involve in the "domestic issues" and the "authority" that will solve their problem is the "TRNC government" and not the "Turkish embassy".

    On the same issue, Abdullah Korkmazhan, Organizing Secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), in a written statement, described Akca's statements that there is no trouble regarding the population or the uncontrolled population flow in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, as unacceptable.

    [07] Turkish Cypriot daily sees conditions for launching a separate process for the occupied closed city of Varosha after the recent decision of ECHR

    Under the title "Crisis over Varosha", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (09.05.11) refers to a decision taken by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) which condemned Turkey to pay ? 20 million as compensation to 32 Greek Cypriots, including well-known businessman Lordos, for their occupied properties in the closed city of Varosha. The paper writes that recently the Court s decision became final and Turkey must pay ? 20 million by July.

    Observers told the paper that this development "bears unpredictable dangers". Citing diplomatic sources, the paper reports that the ECHR's decision might endanger the existence of the "property compensation commission" established in the occupied area of Cyprus. The sources argued that this decision threatens the "national law of the TRNC". The sources said the "commission" established in the occupied area might become an issue of debate now in the international law.

    "With this decision, the Greek Cypriots have obtained a very important political trump card in this stage of the negotiations", said the sources noting that new conditions have been created for launching a separate process on the issue of the occupied closed city of Varosha. "Now it will be understood how big mistake the Turkish side committed by not opening Varosha for settling", the sources argued.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Final candidates for CTP's leadership announced

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.05.11) reports that five candidates will run for the leader's chair of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) in the party's general assembly that will take place on the 5th of June. Also 40 out of 99 candidates will be elected to the party's council. According to an announcement by CTP, the five candidates are Kutlay Erk, Mehmet Caglar, Nazim Beratli, Omer Soyer Kalyoncu and Ozkan Yorgancioglu.

    CTP also announced the calendar leading towards the assembly. Tomorrow, a common press conference will be organized at the party's headquarters and on Thursday candidates will participate in various promotional activities in occupied Lefkosia. From Monday 16th of May until the 23rd they will participate in similar activities, visiting the regional organizations of occupied Trikomo, Morfou, Famagusta and Keryneia. Between 7t - 9th of May, a brochure with information on the candidates will be prepared and on 4th of June welcoming events for foreign guests will be prepared.

    [09] "The opposition lost its bearings"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (09.05.11) reports on Turgay Avci's statements. Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) issued a written statement evaluating the situation in "TRNC." In his statement Avci talks about a political system which is about to collapse and supports that they must get rid of this bulky structure. He says that a great duty befalls upon the shoulders of those who love their "country" and that they are ready to establish a "people's government" with the support of the "people".

    Avci, apart from criticising the "government" for burying its head in the sand and not being sensitive towards people's problems, also turned his criticism upon the opposition parties, saying that they lost their bearings. He claims that the majority of them co-operate and follow marginal Trade Unionists and participate in rallies which give negative impressions about "motherland" Turkey. Furthermore, he writes in his statement the following: ""The source and the solution of the country's problem is the government. Not clearing out the government which does not see and solve the problems and blaming other institutions [The so called Turkish embassy in the occupied area] and motherland Turkey, shows the inability of the opposition. We are surprised by the behaviour of opposition parties like DP, which is greatly responsible for the country's current situation; parties that criticize as if they are entirely pure."

    [10] Schulz 's contacts in the occupied area

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (07.05.11, online) reported that the leader of the Socialist Group of the European Parliament Martin Schulz is in the "TRNC" for a series of contacts.

    Schulz toured occupied Famagusta yesterday to see some construction and renovation projects financed by the European Union. He was accompanied by the leader of the main opposition Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ferdi Sabit Soyer, some CTP deputies and the "mayor" of occupied Famagusta Oktay Kayalp.

    Speaking while touring the city, "mayor" Kayalp said that certain EU funding are being used to protect cultural heritage and increase the quality of life for the people.

    For his part, EP Socialist Group leader Schulz said that he observed Famagusta as moving into a global future with funds provided by the EU.

    Moreover, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (07.05.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met yesterday with Martin Schulz. The meeting was closed to the press and no statements were made.

    Responding to a question regarding Schulz's meeting, Eroglu said that they will discuss every matter including the direct trade regulation, Gunes paper reports.

    [11] "A gaffe by Eroglu on history textbooks"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (07.05.11), with the above title in its front page, reports that during the inauguration of the intercommunal Home for Cooperation held in the buffer zone near the Ledra Palace in Nicosia yesterday by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the Cyprus President Demetris Christofias, Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriot side arranged history textbooks in such a way to contain no feelings of enmity towards the Greek Cypriots and proposed to the Greek Cypriot side to act in the same way.

    However, when the National Unity Party (UBP) came to power, it put aside the history textbooks renewed during the period of the Republic Turkish Party (CTP) , and did not and do not use them, Afrika reports.

    The paper also notes that UBP rearranged the history textbooks as "Turkish Cypriot history" and not as "Cyprus history" and placed them into the education.

    In the column "a letter from Afrika", the paper reports that Eroglu's statement regarding the history textbooks was a gaffe, because the history textbooks prepared by CTP are not taught any more in schools. The paper also wonders if Eroglu does not know or if he has forgotten. Even, some Turkish Cypriot teachers, who were present at the event, were surprised.

    [12] Eroglu met with ambassadors

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (07.05.11, online) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu held a meeting with the so-called Turkish ambassador to occupied Lefkosia Halil Ibrahim Akca yesterday afternoon.

    Eroglu also received the Ambassador of the Netherlands to Nicosia Jon Eric Van den Berg, Belgium's Ambassador Guy Sevrin and the Austrian Ambassador Martin Weiss yesterday.

    No statements were issued before or after the meetings.

    [13] The Basilica of Agia Triada in occupied Karpassia is being neglected

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (07.05.11) reports that the Basilica of Agia Triada in the occupied village of Agia Triada in the area of Karpassia, which is included in the historical sites of the breakaway regime, lacks of the appropriate care. According to the paper, the church is not being maintained as it should be and in addition, it is not being promoted appropriately. It is also noted that the area has been covered with wild weeds and the visitors run the risk of being attacked by snakes.

    [14] Patients with thalassaemia visit the hospitals of the Republic of Cyprus for their treatment

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (08.05.11) reports on a written statement issued by the chairman of the Turkish Cypriot "Thalassaemia Association" Ahmet Varoglu, on the occasion of the May 8 World Thalassaemia Day. In his statement, Varoglu noted that the occupation regime faces great difficulties in acquiring the essential medical equipment and the appropriate blood units for the patients suffering with thalassaemia, who "have been left to their own fate," as Varoglu said. For this reason, Varoglu noted, many of the Turkish Cypriot patients, who have lost their hope of being treated in the occupied area and who are disappointed from the provided treatment, have begun referring to the hospitals of the free area of the Republic of Cyprus for the appropriate therapy.

    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    Istanbul hosting the Fourth United Nations Conference on the Least Developed Countries, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's messages prior to the conference, and the Turkish Foreign Minister saying that Turkey will be the voice of poor countries, also the continued election's campaigns with secret sex tapes leaking out to the press one after the other, Kilicdaroglu, CHP's chairman reply to Prime Minister's remarks are covered throughout the weekend in the Turkish press." Also covered are the Formula 1 DHL Turkey Grand Prix and a public survey conducted by MetroPOLL Research Company regarding the Universities placing exams.

    [15] The UN Chief in Turkey; Statements on the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.05.11) reported on statements by the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon that he appreciated the active approach of Turkey towards developments in the region.

    Ban replied questions of Ahmet Boken, Chief Editor of Turkish Radio and Television (TRT) news channel on Saturday.

    Asked how he assessed the active approach of Turkey with respect to developments in Libya, Syria, the Middle East and North Africa, Ban said he appreciated Turkey's approach with strong expressions. He also welcomed the "very effective diplomatic initiatives" displayed under the leadership of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and President Abdullah Gul.

    Responding to a question on the future of the Cyprus issue, Ban said that the leaders of both communities in Cyprus were involved in an active negotiation process. He said two tripartite meetings have been held so far in a summit level.

    Ban said they would meet in June or July, at a date that would become definite later and noted that some progress could be recorded on economy and EU within the scope of the ongoing talks. However, he noted there were things to be done on very important issues like property and security. Ban said he called on both leaders to make their differences come closer, and noted the leaders had to do that with a win-win spirit of compromise.

    Ban said the leaders had to display flexibility and discuss issues in detail. He said an important meeting would be held next month, noting he would meet with Prime Minister Erdogan and will urge him to display an encouraging stance regarding the matter. Ban said he would also meet with the Greek Foreign Minister while in Istanbul.

    Asked how he would act in case Turkey would like to assume non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for a second time, Ban said that the Turkish Government and Turkish diplomats displayed an influential diplomatic ability and leadership during the process of non-permanent membership.

    Ban said he hoped Turkey would again be represented in the UN Security Council again, however noted that this depended on the support of the UN member countries.

    [16] Erdogan and Gul's messages for the Europe Day

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News online (08.05.11) reported that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan expressed his determination on Sunday to resolve problems between Turkey and the European Union.

    In a message given in a statement to mark Europe Day on Monday, Erdogan stated: "I believe that difficulties in the frame of our negotiation process with the EU will be removed thanks to the farsightedness inspired by the rooted ties between Turkey and the EU".

    Emphasizing that Turkey's joining the EU would strengthen the European bloc and help the 27-nation group expand its influence to a global scale, he said that Turkey will determinedly continue to fulfill its commitments during the negotiation process.

    Turkish President Abdullah Gul also released a message to mark Europe Day as well. Gul said in his message that Turkey, with its history and vision for the future, was an indispensable part of Europe's integration process. He said that Turkey and the EU share universal values, and that full membership in the EU is a strategic choice for his country. "Turkey, which has always been present in Europe's past, naturally desires to be a part of Europe's future as well," Gul said noting that Turkey will continue to walk strongly on its EU path despite the difficulties stemming from developments and artificial obstacles created by certain circles.

    [17] "There is another actor in Cyprus from now on: Turcocypriots"

    Cengiz Aktar, columnist in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News &Economic Review (06.05.11) writes in its commentary entitled "There is another actor in Cyprus from now on: Turcocypriots" the following:

    "Heavy regional storms should not stop us seeing what is ahead. Last week Turkish Ambassador to the TRNC, Halil 0brahim Akca ended a months-long discussion when he said:  85 % of the budget goes to 32,000 civil servants and retirees. This needs to be reduced. With such a bulky state structure, it is impossible to maintain the economy. Politicians should consider paying the price of the economic package.'

    To Akca's ukase, General Secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union, or KT?S, Sener Elcil, reacted in the following way: 'Mr Governor [ambassador] avoids seeing the realities in the north of the island and is trying to cover it up with various remarks and talks about a bulky structure, which is a segregationist structure built by themselves in the first place. Are you not the one who said, 'Go for tourism or trade' and not the one who closed Sanayi Industry Holding down, disassembled factories and moved them out? With the austerity package you have imposed on us while forcing the Turcocypriot youth to move out, you also have brought a crowd into the north and made Turcocypriots pay for employment, food, health, and education expenditures of this crowd. Have you not? And now, you are lecturing us. As we don't have money for education, health and economy is it Turcocypriot's making to build mosques or religious complexes more than schools in almost every town?

    Let s also hear what the United Cyprus Party, or BKP, General Secretary 0zzet 0zcan said:  You will grant properties of Grecocypriots, the most beautiful land of our country and valuable assets of Turcocypriots to your cronies for nothing and transfer population to the north of the island and let Turcocypriots die out as you prevent a durable solution to the Cyprus dispute. You will take us hostage during the European Union membership process and use us as a trump-card to say, 'I have strategic interests,' then turn around and ask us to pay the price. Turkey's real intention is to make the north of Cyprus a province of its own, increase the population to a million and bring another Hatay [Antioch] example into life.'

    Subtitle: Either annexation or a federation

    Pay attention to the relations between the de facto ruler of the TRNC, the governor/ambassador and Turcocypriots. In the old days, when talking about Cyprus, the first thing that came to mind was endless peace talks between the Republic of Cyprus, or RC, in the south of the island and the TRNC up in the north. Later on, hostility between RC and Turkey has deepened in connection with Turkey's EU membership and RC's membership to international institutions. Things have gotten more complicated. Now we have a problem between Turkey and TRNC.

    Let's look at the calendar and see how the dead-lock cannot be eliminated if Turkey doesn't make a move. There will be the House of Representatives elections held in the RC this month. Though the President's role is essential, the election is quite critical in terms of future political balances. Another important date is the RC's approaching EU term presidency due on July 1 2012. If normalization cannot be achieved by then, it means the already frozen Turkey-EU relations would be placed into the deep-freezer. In other words, it will not harm much. But there follows presidential elections in the RC in 2013.

    Therefore, for any progress on Cyprus we have normally no more than a full year ahead for us after the June 12 general elections in Turkey. However, one of the actors says "enough" now: The UN... Even the most low profile UN Secretary General since 1945, Ban Ki-moon, is fed up with Cyprus talks. His special envoy, Alexander Downer, has announced the deadline for peace talks as March 2012. Shortly and precisely, if there is not a noteworthy progress in the period July 2011-March 2012, the problem will deteriorate further. It may turn into an open crisis due to the antagonism between people of the TRNC and Turkey, not to mention its consequences on the already clogged membership talks with the EU.

    In this picture, the key is there: To pave the way for a "new federation" as Turkey's solution formula for decades, to leave aside interim formulas such as the return of Maras [Varocha] in exchange of Direct Trade Regulation and to apply the "land in return for political equality" paradigm in peace talks between RC and TRNC. In fact, let's recall that although progress has been made in political equality during the talks led by former president of TRNC Mehmet Ali Talat, there has been no progress regarding return of land and property.

    The only alternative to this formula, if we set aside the dream of recognition of TRNC's independence, is the annexation of the TRNC as its management will be ever more difficult in present conditions. But that is a costly alternative in every way. Turcocypriots turning into actors is probably a messenger of the final stage, forcing either a solution or a costly annexation."

    [18] Bagis on Turkey's EU bid and the upcoming Turkish elections

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.11) reported on statements by the Turkish Chief Negotiator for talks with the European Union (EU) Egemen Bagis who has said on Saturday while visiting the central Anatolian province of Nevsehir together with Ambassadors of EU member states within the framework of May 8 Europe Day celebrations that the Union would perceive Turkey's potential eventually.

    Pointing to EU's economic problems in the recent term, Bagis said: "They will understand Turkey's potential eventually. They will chase after Turkey and try to convince us for membership. Therefore, we should never feel pessimistic in our EU process which constitutes the most important part of our own civilization journey and democratization process".

    Bagis said that EU reforms had contributed recently to Turkey's remarkable progress in fields such as education, transportation, justice and security. "Therefore, we will not stop, we will proceed on our way," he said. "We are implementing EU reforms not for the Union, but to raise the living standards of our citizens," he added.

    Commenting on the upcoming general elections, Bagis said Turkey would prepare a new constitution that would be embraced by all segments of the society after the elections, and by this way, the obstacles on Turkey's EU path would be eliminated.

    [19] Gul on Turkey's economy

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (08.05.11) reported on statements by the Turkish President Abdullah Gul who has said that Turkey had become a self-confident and strong country thanks to a series of successful reforms as several EU countries are currently struggling with serious crises.

    Speaking at a meeting of Aegean businessmen in Izmir, Gul said the economic situation in Turkey was more assuring than many European countries at the moment and Turkey's economic indicators were in line with the Maastrich criteria. "Several EU member states are currently going through major crises as they cannot meet these criteria. You will all see that some countries will also face serious crises in the near future. In such a period, Turkey has self confidence and takes strong steps," Gul said.

    Gul said that Turkey should deepen and strengthen its economic and political structures as well as its democratic, political and legal reforms in order to maintain such a position.

    Commenting on Izmir's place in Turkish economy, Gul said Izmir is one of the most advantageous regions of the country and a major attraction centre for both national and international investors. Pointing to the importance of Izmir's promotion, Gul noted that EXPO 2015 was a good chance for the city in that sense, but unfortunately, Izmir had lost the competition despite intense efforts. "I believe Izmir will win the race to host EXPO 2020," Gul said, noting that all political parties and institutions should display joint efforts to help the city to win that title this time.

    [20] Columnist views the results of MetroPOLL survey on Turkey's hot Issues

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman online in english (08.05.11) publishes a commentary by Dogu Ergil who reports in its article entitled "The democratic angle" on the results of a public survey conducted by MetroPOLL Research company in Turkey about citizens' attitudes concerning democracy and consensus on democratic principles.

    "When asked whether government officials (who we could never bring ourselves to call "public servants") are courteous to the citizens or not, 47% of the interviewed said "yes" and 44% said "no." The question on whether ordinary people act courteously towards each other yielded a grim result, as 72% said "no" and only 25% said "yes." It seems the majority of the Turkish citizens believe that they do not treat each other with due respect.

    Is this a reflection of the diffuse distrust among the population towards groups that are officially and unofficially labelled as "others" or is it due to the absence of consensus over basic values and principles that make a cohesive society?

    Let us put these questions to the test in the context of three ongoing debates, the first of which is on building nuclear power plants to generate electricity. After the disaster in Fukushima, Japan, the issue became even more controversial. The poll shows that 42% of Turks endorse nuclear power plants, while 49% object to them. Because of the resolve demonstrated by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Justice and Development Party (AKP) members support the building of nuclear power plants more than members of other parties, but the issue will surely become one of the fault lines of the post-election period.

    A second hot issue is whether the arrest and detention of journalists and authors is a fair deal or a way for the government to intimidate the media.

    Of those interviewed, 53% believe that journalists and authors cannot freely express their opinion. This attitude is shared by 77.6% of Republican People's Party (CHP) supporters and 60.9% of the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) supporters, who are in the opposition.

    A third but more important issue is whether we need a new constitution and whether the "untouchable" articles pertaining to the nature of the regime should be altered or removed all together. Of those polled 69.4% believe that Turkey needs a brand new constitution. Only 22% expressed no need for such an initiative. Supporters of both the AKP and the main opposition parties (the CHP and MHP) endorse the need for a new constitution, at rates as high as 70%, 72% and 65%, respectively. It seems there is consensus in this respect. Men and citizens with higher levels of education and income express this need more than other segments of the society. As for the "untouchable" or "unalterable" articles of the Constitution, they leave room for the Constitutional Court to transgress its role of "examining laws for their consonance with the techniques of law making," rather their content. Through such interventions, the Constitutional Court has aborted many reforms, encouraging the Supreme Court of Appeals to abort many government initiatives. Forty-eight % of the citizens polled want these "untouchables" pertaining to the character of regime to remain as they are, while only 34% want them to be altered with the rest of the Constitution. It seems the citizens of Turkey are predominantly conservative regarding constitutional clauses. There is a positive note regarding the high rate of demand (75%) to see the outline of what each party proposes for the new constitution.

    When asked whether the new constitution should be biased in favour of citizens' rights or security of the state, 54% of the electorate favoured citizen rights and liberties. Only 21% preferred the security of the state over citizens' rights. When asked whether the three biggest political parties are democratic enough or not, 52.4 believed the AKP to be democratic (38.1 believe the opposite), while 83% of AKP supporters, 70% of CHP supporters and 68% of MHP supporters believe that their parties are democratic enough. But when it comes to lowering the problematic 10% election threshold, only 19% want to cut it and 17% want it to be lifted altogether, while 47% of the respondents want the existing barrier to remain as it is."

    [21] Turkish, US Companies lay foundation of F135 Fighter engine factory in Izmir

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (07.05.11) reported that Turkish and U.S. companies laid the foundation on Saturday of a fighter engine factory in western Turkey.

    Turkey's Kale Group and U.S. Pratt & Whitney Company laid foundation of F135 fighter engine factory in the western province of Izmir.

    In the summer of 2010, Pratt & Whitney and Kale Havacilik San, A.S., (Kale Group) announced the formation of a joint venture partnership to produce aircraft engine components. Under the terms of the joint venture, Kale will own 51% and Pratt & Whitney will own 49% of the joint venture company.

    The joint venture will specialize in manufacturing hardware for the F135 engine powering the F-35 Lightning II aircraft. In the future, the partnership will expand to support highly complex metal fabrications and spare parts for Pratt & Whitney military fighter engine models F100 and F119, and military transport engine model F117.

    Kale Havacilik is part of a large and a diversified industrial conglomerate of Turkey, Kale Group. The group embracing over 50 years of experience in building materials, is also active in robotics, energy - in addition to defence - and aerospace. Kale has been a reliable supplier in various national and multi-national defence and aerospace projects since 1989.

    Pratt & Whitney is a world leader in the design, manufacture and service of aircraft engines, space propulsion systems and industrial gas turbines. United Technologies, based in Hartford, Conn., is a diversified company providing high technology products and services to the global aerospace and building industries. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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