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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-06-15

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. 111/11 15.06.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Ertug comments on the Geneva summit and the UN Security Council Resolution for UNFICYP
  • [02] Observers from six foreign countries follow a search and rescue exercise in the occupied part of Cyprus
  • [03] Serdar Denktas voices his opposition to the implementations of the "Turkish Aid delegation"
  • [04] Basin-Sen attends an EFJ meeting in Belgrade
  • [05] KTTO reports that amount of potatoes sold through the Green Line regulation has increased
  • [06] Reactions to the transfer of Turkish Cypriot football players to Greek Cypriot teams
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [07] Davutoglu to carry out contacts in the occupied area before the Geneva summit
  • [08] Davutoglu to head Arab Spring meeting with envoys abroad
  • [09] Columnist examines Erdogan's victory vis-a-vis Cyprus and EU talks
  • [10] New Constitution in the pincers of parties' conflicting red lines
  • [11] Erdogan urges Assad to halt violence

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Statements by Ertug regarding the Geneva summit, the realization of a search and rescue exercise, reactions by parents regarding the selling of DAU pre-university institutions, comments by Serdar Denktas on the role of the "Turkish Aid delegation", Basin-Sen attending the annual meeting of the European Federation of Journalists in Belgrade, a statement by the KKTO regarding the amount of potatoes sold to the free area of the Republic of Cyprus, a press conference regarding the 15th Famagusta Culture and Art Festival, which will be realized with the participation of various artists from abroad and other internal issues are covered in today's Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Ertug comments on the Geneva summit and the UN Security Council Resolution for UNFICYP

    According to illegal Bayrak television (14.06.11, online), Osman Ertug, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, has said that the Turkish Cypriot side will exert every effort for having a favourable result in the tripartite Cyprus summit which will take place in Geneva on 7 July. Ertug argued that the procedure has lasted for too long. "We do not want this meeting to be an ordinary one", he said.

    Commenting on the recent Resolution of the UN Security Council, which extended the mandate of the UN Peace Keeping Force in Cyprus (UNFICYP) for another six months, Ertug said that this is a technical decision and that the UN has two main duties in Cyprus. The one, he noted, is its peace keeping operations, adding that the report of the Secretary-General and the Resolution of the Security Council are mainly related to this mission of the international organization. Ertug noted, however, that the report, which refers to the good offices mission of the UN Secretary-General, calls on the leaders to intensify the talks before the 7 July summit and to exert efforts to reach reconciliation on the remaining core issues.

    Ertug alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side does its part on this issue. He said that intensive efforts are exerted at Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's office and that a strategy will be determined after the evaluation of information obtained as a result of their contacts, but nothing could be announced now.

    Ertug said: "As Turkish Cypriot side we do not want the Geneva meeting to be an ordinary one. As Mr Downer said in his recent statement, this matter has prolonged too much. Therefore, our target is to come to a point that could bring a favourable result and pave the way for our people in Geneva".

    He also alleged that the Turkish Cypriot side will do its part in order for this to be materialized.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Observers from six foreign countries follow a search and rescue exercise in the occupied part of Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (15.06.11) reports that the first stage on land of the "Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli ? 2011 Search and Rescue Exercise" took place yesterday at Saint Hilarion area in occupied Keryneia. The paper writes that the exercise will continue today in the open sea of occupied Famagusta area.

    In statements before the exercise, brigadier general Mehmet Soganci, deputy commander of the "Security Forces" of the breakaway regime, said that the "TRNC" is always ready to execute a search and rescue operation anywhere and any time of day or night on land or in the international waters in cooperation with Turkey. He alleged that the authority of search and rescue in "TRNC's airspace and territorial waters" belongs to the "TRNC" and that in the area north of Cyprus this authority belongs to Turkey.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (15.06.11) reports that invitations to 59 countries to follow the exercise have been sent and that observers from six countries are following the exercise. Under the title "Observers from five countries are watching", the paper writes that observers from Iraq, Pakistan, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates and Gambia are watching the exercise.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (15.06.11) refers to the issue under the title: "We are sovereign in the TRNC's sea and air".

    Moreover, illegal Bayrak television (online, 14.06.11) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader

    Dervis Eroglu met on Tuesday with the Commander of the Southern Sea Area Rear Admiral Nusret Guner, who is currently in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus to command the "Martyr Lieutenant Caner Gonyeli-2011" Search and Rescue Exercises.

    According to a press release, Eroglu expressed his pleasure for meeting the Rear Admiral in the "TRNC", adding that his visit gave moral to the Turkish Cypriots.

    Eroglu said: "Your presence in the country reminds us that we are not alone and your visit here is very important for the Turkish Cypriots".

    Commenting on the Geneva summit that will take place on the 7th of July, Eroglu said that all together we shall see what the Cyprus President Christofias will bring to the Geneva Summit.

    [03] Serdar Denktas voices his opposition to the implementations of the "Turkish Aid delegation"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (15.06.11) hosts an interview with Serdar Denktas, chairman of the Democratic Party (DP). Denktas answering to the question "why you allow officials from the delegation to direct the government" said that this question must be addressed by others, since from 1996 he supports that the enforcements of the "Aid delegation" must cease. And the reason he gave for this is that technical committees coming from Turkey overshadow their potential and give the impression that the Turkish Cypriots do not have enough expertise.

    Also when asked to comment upon the policy that more population is necessary based on the excuse that it helps to economic development, Denktas said that strong population does not mean a big population, rather a population with a high level of education, culture and life. He said that his party opposed to the practise of bringing over personnel [from Turkey] with just their ID card and argued that they need quality people.

    [04] Basin-Sen attends an EFJ meeting in Belgrade

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.06.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot press workers trade union, Basin-Sen, is attending the annual meeting of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), which is being held in Belgrade, Serbia, from today since June 17. According to the paper, the meeting, titled: "The Key to Press Freedom in Europe:

    Journalism as a public good", is being attended by 74 delegates and observers from 29 countries. Particularly, Basin-Sen, which is a full member of the EFJ, attends the meeting with a three-person delegation consisting by the union's chairman Kemal Darbaz, the secretary of foreign relations Ali Kurtoglu and the coordinator on education projects Dogus Ozokutan.

    [05] KTTO reports that amount of potatoes sold through the Green Line regulation has increased

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (15.06.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) announced with a written statement that in the past two months 127.000 kilos of potatoes have been sold to the free area of the Republic of Cyprus. The statement said that this amount is an important factor for the production of quality potatoes. It also mentioned the efforts and lobbying that KTTO has exerted in order to allow Turkish Cypriot producers to use potatoes coming from certified seeds for a second seeding and then being able to sell their products under the Green Line regulation, as announced in the EU official gazette. The statement also added that market diversity is necessary in order to raise their export volume and competiveness.

    [06] Reactions to the transfer of Turkish Cypriot football players to Greek Cypriot teams

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (15.06.11) reports on the reactions created after the discussions of Mustafa Yasinses, a Turkish Cypriot football player of the occupied Omorfita team, for transfer to the Greek Cypriot ALKI football team. However, according to the paper, Yasinsen is bound by the regulations of the so-called football federation ("KTFF") in the occupied area of Cyprus and needs the approval of both his team in the occupied area as well of the "KTFF" in order to be able to be transferred to ALKI.

    Likewise, as the paper writes, the goalkeeper of the occupied Lefke football team Mehmet Ozeralp, who holds contacts with a Greek Cypriot football team, will have to take the permission of the Lekfe football club and the so-called football federation.

    Furthermore, Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (15.06.11) reports on the reactions created by the management of occupied Omorfita football team against the agreement of Yasinses with the ALKI football team. As the chairman of the occupied Omorfita football club Ali Basman, stated, he was unaware of the meeting of Yasinses with ALKI, adding that Yasinses asked permission for discussions only with teams of the Maltese league. Basman said that after they were informed about the meeting of Yasinses with ALKI, they called him and indicated to him that he has to stop trying being transferred to the Greek Cypriot league, noting that this is a wrong step to be taken. Basman stated that they do not have a positive look towards the issue, adding that they will not give the permission for the transfer. He said: "The last decision is on Yasinses. The directions are clear; if he goes without permission, he will not be able to play football in our country."

    In addition, speaking to reports after the event, Basman confirmed the discussions and added that Yasinses will not be transferred to any Greek Cypriot team, adding that the "south Cyprus chapter" is closed for Mustafa Yasinses.


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The overtone of the June 12 general elections, the telephone call by the U.S. President Barack Obama to the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan congratulating him on his victory, the telephone conversation between Erdogan with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, reports that the number of Syrians who have crossed into Turkey, after the unrest in Syria exceeded 8.500, and other internal issues were covered by the Turkish press today.

    [07] Davutoglu to carry out contacts in the occupied area before the Geneva summit

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.06.11), under the title: "Diplomatic traffic on Cyprus to soon gain momentum", reports that diplomacy on Cyprus will increase ahead of the July 7 tripartite meeting in Geneva that will be led by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, hosting Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias and Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    In line with Ankara's diplomatic conventions, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to pay his first visit abroad to the "TRNC" soon after the new Government is formed following the June 12 parliamentary elections, diplomatic sources told Today's Zaman on Tuesday.

    If the Government cannot be formed until the July 7 tripartite meeting, Davutoglu is still likely to fly to northern Cyprus to hold a round-table meeting with top leaders of the "TRNC" in order to coordinate policies ahead of the Geneva meeting, said the same sources, speaking under customary condition of anonymity.

    Meanwhile, UN Special Envoy to Cyprus Alexander Downer has recently conveyed to the Turkish capital his willingness to hold a meeting with Davutoglu ahead of the July 7 meeting, Today's Zaman has learned.

    The meeting between Downer and Davutoglu is expected to take place in Ankara within the next few days and before Davutoglu goes to the island, Today's Zaman learned.

    [08] Davutoglu to head Arab Spring meeting with envoys abroad

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.06.11), with the above title, reports that Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will lead a high-level meeting with Ambassadors abroad on Wednesday in order to make a comprehensive review of the Arab Spring, officials said on Tuesday.

    In addition to the top diplomats at the Foreign Ministry, Turkey's Ambassadors in the Middle East countries, its Ambassadors in Berlin, London, Paris and Washington, its Permanent Representatives to the United Nations, to the United Nations Office in Geneva, to the European Union and to the North Atlantic Council (NAC) at NATO headquarters will also participate in the meeting, diplomatic sources, speaking under customary condition of anonymity, told Today's Zaman. The meeting will be held at the Ministry headquarters in Ankara.

    On Monday, Davutoglu headed a lengthy political review meeting with top bureaucrats involved in the ongoing Syrian crisis.

    The meeting at the Foreign Ministry came a day after thousands of pro-regime protesters marched toward the Turkish Embassy in Damascus at a time when Turkey said it would keep its gates open for Syrian refugees fleeing a violent crackdown in a town near the Turkish border.

    [09] Columnist examines Erdogan's victory vis-a-vis Cyprus and EU talks

    Columnist Amanda Paul writing in Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.06.11) publishes the following commentary under the title: "Erdogan's victory and EU talks":

    "Being elected for a third term, with almost 50% of the vote, is something that EU leaders can only dream of. After eight-and-a-half years in power, the Justice and Development Party (AKP) remains the most popular political party Turkey has had in decades.

    The win delivers Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a strong mandate at home while strengthening his image and credibility abroad. However, with popularity and power comes great responsibility and Erdogan must stick to the promises he made during his victorious balcony speech -- namely, to have an inclusive approach which also reflects the views of the 50% of the country that did not vote for him.

    Erdogan's popularity is due in part to the strength of Turkey's economy, which is now the 16th largest in the world, growing at a rate of around 6% annually since the AKP came to power. However, Turkey must start to tackle some financial weaknesses which are not much talked about but are on the increase, including a massive current account deficit (CAD), expected to exceed 9% of gross domestic product (GDP) this year --close to the levels that contributed to economic crises in Greece and Portugal-- and rising inflation.

    While Erdogan will return to office with an over-flowing in-tray both on the domestic and foreign policy fronts, replacing the 1982 Constitution is a top priority. Because the electorate denied Erdogan a supermajority in Parliament, which would have given him the freedom to do whatever he pleased, the AKP fell short of the 330 seats required to rewrite the Constitution unilaterally. Therefore --and probably for the better-- Erdogan must seek consensus, formulating a new Constitution that is inclusive and reflects the opinions of the entire country, as opposed to a "made-by-the-AKP"-style document which could have been disastrous. In particular, the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) --which also came out of these elections victorious-- will be a key party in the constitutional debate. This also means Erdogan may not be able to proceed with his grand plan to transform Turkey's political system from a parliamentary to a presidential one. It is no secret that Erdogan aspires to be President (but a President with considerable power) and such a transformation would probably guarantee him a powerful role beyond 2023 making him the undisputed leader of the 'new' Turkey. Given that this change is opposed by many of Turkey's political elites, as well as by a number of senior figures in the AKP, including some extremely close to Erdogan like current President Abdullah Gul and Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc, it seems for the moment like something of a long shot.

    As for relations with the EU, senior bureaucrats quickly congratulated Erdogan. In a joint statement, the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso and the European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said: "We are convinced the coming period offers new opportunities for further reforms, including work on a new Constitution in the broadest possible consultation and a spirit of dialogue and compromise, and for strengthening confidence between Turkey and all EU member states. Progress in these fields should also give new impetus to the accession negotiations with the European Union." Member of the European Parliament Ria Oomem-Ruijten said that Erdogan must 'show full commitment to the accession process and the will to engage constructively with the European Union'. Frankly speaking, I find this statement quite amusing because first of all, the accession process is stalled due to France, Germany and Austria blocking several chapters, while Cyprus (which is the only one with legitimate reasons for doing so) has blocked 15 other chapters due to Turkey's failure to extend its Customs Union. Perhaps the EU should also heed Mrs Oomem-Ruijten's advice as one can hardly interpret the behaviour of certain EU leaders as constructive. Yes, of course, Turkey should speed up reforms, but it also needs incentives to put real dynamism back into the process.

    Just because Erdogan got 50% of the vote, the likes of Nicolas Sarkozy and Angela Merkel are not suddenly going to change their minds. It seems unlikely the election result will change much regarding the negotiations unless Turkey decides to change its policy vis-?-vis Cyprus, extending its Customs Union and normalizing relations. Even then, it may not be the end of the story as the Greek Cypriots may ask additional preconditions for the unblocking of the chapters including demanding Ankara to stop "illegally" using Ercan airport [occupied airport of Tymvou] and the port of Famagusta [occupied port of Famagusta] in the north. They may also request the opening of an embassy in Ankara. Furthermore, even though Turkey would gain credibility in the eyes of the West by taking such a step, with everything else on Erdogan's plate, unless there are some positive steps taken by the EU regarding membership negotiations, I am not convinced that the newly super-confident Erdogan will feel he has enough to gain by going down this road. Frankly the only watertight way out of this messy situation is a comprehensive solution to the decades-old Cyprus problem but current negotiations do not seem to be heading in the right direction."

    [10] New Constitution in the pincers of parties' conflicting red lines

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 14.06.11), with the above title, reports that the leader of the governing Justice and Development Party (AKP) Recep Tayyip Erdogan, recently made a call for compromise in making a new Constitution, and the opposition parties have welcomed the call, yet there are fears that plans for a new Constitution to replace the current one may fall victim to ongoing fights in the Republican People's Party (CHP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) in the wake of the election defeat or conflicting "red lines" of political parties in Parliament.

    According to the paper, Erdogan said his party will go to the opposition to compromise with them and consult the opinions of civil society, media, academics and everybody else on the new Constitution. The CHP gave a green light for compromise with the ruling party, with its leader saying that the "doors of his party are open for the Prime Minister." "Our doors are wide open if the Prime Minister wishes to visit us [for consultation on the new Constitution.] We will be happy about his visit," stated the CHP leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu. In addition, CHP Konya deputy Atilla Kart spoke to Today's Zaman and expressed pleasure about AKP plans to draft a new Constitution through political consensus. "We have always said that the new Constitution should be prepared with the widest [political] consensus possible. We will not avoid joining forces on a constitutional change that will be the product of joint efforts by all political parties and civil society groups. We do not have any plans for refusing to send members to a commission to be set up in Parliament to draft a new Constitution. Yet no one should try to impose their own drafts on others," Kart stated.

    However, AKP fears that plans for compromise on the new Constitution may be hindered by internal fights within the CHP and the MHP that erupted after the failure of the two parties in Sunday's general elections, leaving their members and voters unsatisfied. Voices emerged within both the CHP and the MHP for the resignations of their leaders. The two leaders, however, do not see themselves as the reason behind the failure of their parties to win huge support from voters.

    AKP Deputy Chairman Salih Kapusuz said a hard mission is waiting for Parliament. "Hard days are beginning for all of us. If everyone is in a conciliatory manner, then Parliament will be successful and adopt a new Constitution. However, intra-party unrest in the CHP and the MHP may have negative impacts on work for a new Constitution. We hope their intra-party fights will not last long," he added.

    The AKP, the CHP and the MHP are all unwilling to change the first three unchangeable articles of the Constitution. However, the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which will be represented with 36 seats in Parliament, does not agree. The BDP insists that the three articles be changed. The first three articles of the Constitution define Turkey as a Republic that is democratic, secular and a social state governed by the rule of law. The articles also define Turkish as the official language in Turkey and Ankara as its capital. The first three articles are irrevocable, and amendments to them cannot even be suggested.

    The CHP is cold to the adoption of a presidential system, which the AKP leader really wants. Erdogan had signalled that Turkey may head to the ballot box for a referendum about the adoption of a presidential system after the general elections of June 12. However, the CHP said it would oppose any constitutional change that would pave the way for a presidential system.

    The BDP, on the other hand, is a strong supporter of schooling in one's mother tongue. In Turkey, the official language in education is Turkish, and some other languages are offered as selective courses. However, the BDP demands that Kurdish students be allowed to be educated in Kurdish. The other three political parties in Parliament, however, dislike the idea. They believe that such freedom may lead to the geographical division of Turkey. The BDP does not plan to lend support to efforts for a new Constitution if the document does not allow education in one's mother tongue.

    Hasip Kaplan, a BDP deputy from Sirnak, told Today's Zaman that his party does not have any red lines about the new Constitution. "Every issue should be open to debate. Constitutions are not sacred documents. Insisting on refusing to change the first three articles is to consider the Constitution as a sacred document. We believe that each article of the Constitution can be debated and changed," he noted.

    In addition, the CHP is unlikely to agree with the AKP and the MHP on a number of issues related to the new Constitution. The main opposition party wishes to make religious classes non-compulsory, restructure the Religious Affairs Directorate, abolish the Higher Education Board (YOK) and abolish specially authorized criminal courts. The AKP and the MHP are opposed to the inclusion of such changes in the new Constitution.

    Faruk Bal, a MHP deputy, stated that the MHP, the CHP or the AKP do not need to reach compromise with the BDP on the new Constitution. "No political party will agree if they [the BDP] bring up proposals to divide or destroy the Republic of Turkey. Will Parliament not be able to make a new Constitution just because the BDP does not agree? The new Constitution can be prepared by the MHP, the CHP and the AKP. If it is not possible to compromise with the BDP, then it is okay. Such compromise is not a must," he noted.

    Former Justice Minister Hikmet Sami Turk expressed fear that demands coming from the BDP may sabotage compromise among political parties for a new Constitution. He said education in the mother tongue and democratic autonomy will decide the fate of the new document. "Such demands may sabotage political compromise on the new Constitution. There will be no compromise among political parties on democratic autonomy, for example. Turkey will never agree on such a demand. Therefore, the fate of the new Constitution lies with the demands of the BDP," he added.

    [11] Erdogan urges Assad to halt violence

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (online, 14.06.11), Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had a phone conversation with the Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

    Officials said on Tuesday that al-Assad called Erdogan and congratulated him on his Justice and Development (AK) Party's victory in the parliamentary elections in Turkey on Sunday.

    Officials said that Erdogan and al-Assad discussed developments in Syria, quoting Erdogan as telling al-Assad that violence must end in Syria. Erdogan also said that a timetable must be formed for reforms and these must be implemented urgently in Syria.

    Premier Erdogan and al-Assad also discussed the influx of Syrian people to Turkey as well as demonstrations in front of the Turkish Embassy in Damascus and the Consulate General in Aleppo. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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