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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-07-07

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. 127/11 07.07.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu's contacts in Geneva before the tripartite meeting
  • [02] Eroglu will carry out contacts in Brussels after the Geneva summit
  • [03] Kucuk on the July 7 Geneva meeting
  • [04] Erdogan will illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus on 19-20 July
  • [05] Letter from the Trade Unions' Platform to Ban Ki-moon prior to the Geneva meeting says they would not accept a solution based on separate states
  • [06] Yorgancioglu said that only with a Cyprus settlement there will be prosperity for the two sides
  • [07] DP and TDP to organize joint protests against the "TRNC government"
  • [08] Official of Doga College alleges that they were "granted" a "license" to open an educational organization in the occupied areas
  • [09] Trade union cuts off the electricity of the "finance ministry" to protest for its debts
  • [10] Turkish Deputy Premier Arinc wants to be in charge of Cyprus affairs
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [11] Erdogan announces his new Cabinet
  • [12] "New Turkish Cabinet will focus on economy and foreign policy challenges"
  • [13] Erdogan: July 15 deadline remarks were "slip of the tongue"
  • [14] Turkey and the Transitional National Council of Libya sign a 200 million USD loan deal in Ankara
  • [15] Turkey and Ecuador sign a deal on visa exemption
  • [16] The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey drops to 9.472

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Eroglu's contacts in Geneva before his meeting with President Christofias and the UN Secretary-General today, statements by Irsen Kucuk regarding the tripartite meeting in Geneva, Eroglu's visit to Brussels next week, Erdogan's illegal visit to Cyprus on the occasion of the anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island, a letter sent by the Trade Unions' Platform and four political parties to the UN Secretary-General prior to the Geneva meeting, and other internal issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers refer also to a statement by Ozkan Yorgancioglu regarding CTP's views on various issues, an agreement between the TDP and DP to jointly protest against the UBP so-called government, the announcement of the new Turkish cabinet by Erdogan and information on the issue of who will become Deputy Prime Minister Responsible for Cyprus.

    [01] Eroglu's contacts in Geneva before the tripartite meeting

    Under the title: "The eyes are in Geneva", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (07.07.11) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is meeting in Geneva today with the UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon and President Christofias within the framework of the negotiations aiming at finding a solution to the Cyprus problem. Eroglu is accompanied at the meeting by his special representative Kudret Ozersay, his spokesman Osman Ertug and his negotiating delegation. After the tripartite summit, he is expected to depart from Geneva for Istanbul this afternoon.

    Eroglu met yesterday with Alexander Downer, UN Secretary ?General's Special Advisor for Cyprus in order to evaluate the latest situation before the tripartite summit.

    Furthermore, he held a telephone conversation with Stefan Fule, EU Commissioner Responsible for the Enlargement. The tripartite meeting that is being held today and the visits, which Eroglu will carry out to Brussels between 13 and 15 July, were discussed during this conversation.

    Fule wished success to Eroglu in today's meeting and noted that the EU is in contact with the U.N. and works on the issue of putting the necessary effort and contribution for progress in the process. Fule recalled that they will meet with Eroglu next week in Brussels and added that he wants to listen from Eroglu himself his evaluation regarding today's meeting and his efforts for contributing to the process.

    Eroglu conveyed to Fule the alleged determination of the Turkish Cypriot side on the issue of leading the process to success.

    Meanwhile, under the title: "Flag crisis again in Geneva", Kirbis reports also that Eroglu changed his hotel in Geneva and moved from Intercontinental to Hilton, because the former did not hang the flag of the breakaway regime. When Eroglu asked from the management of Intercontinental to hang the flag of the breakaway regime, he was promised that this demand would be satisfied at once. When this did not happen, Eroglu instructed his delegation to move to Hilton. The paper recalls that Eroglu and his delegation had stayed at Intercontinental in the past and the flag of the regime was hoisted.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu will carry out contacts in Brussels after the Geneva summit

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (07.07.11) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will travel to Brussels next week to meet senior EU officials.

    Eroglu will be visiting Brussels from July 13 to 15. He is scheduled to meet European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek and EU Commissioner for Enlargement Stefan Fule.

    The paper also reports that according to reliable sources, it is expected that during Eroglu's contacts in Brussels the opening of Turkey's ports to Cypriot vessels within the framework of the Additional Protocol 10 and the package regarding the initialization of international flights from and to the occupied airport of Tymvou will be discussed as an exchange.

    It is also reported that Eroglu tried to arrange these meetings in Brussels prior to the Geneva summit, however, the confirmation of the appointments came while Eroglu was already in Geneva. The paper reports that it will be an opportunity for Eroglu to convey what the Turkish Cypriot side thinks regarding the summit.

    [03] Kucuk on the July 7 Geneva meeting

    According to illegal Bayrak (06.07.11), the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk has said that the Turkish Cypriot side has been issuing constructive statements to the process leading to the tripartite meeting in Geneva.

    Evaluating the 7th of July Geneva meeting, Kucuk told reporters that Greek Cypriot leader Christofias' statement leading to the Geneva meeting showed that there has been no change in the views and positions expressed and put forward by the Greek Cypriot leadership in the past. He also said that it was not possible for the Greek Cypriot leader, who strongly opposes the idea of introducing deadlines and timetables in the talks, to create a difference at the tripartite meeting in Geneva. Pointing out that the Greek Cypriot side ?s constantly trying to force the Turkish Cypriot side into making concessions at the negotiating table, Kucuk said that the Turkish Cypriot side is constantly being accused of not giving any concessions.

    Stating that last week's meeting at the so-called presidential palace had shown that it will not be possible to go into detail at the meeting in Geneva, Kucuk said that he gained the impression that the tripartite meeting will be nothing more than a framework meeting. He also said that his "government" fully supports Eroglu at the negotiating table and shared his views on the Cyprus problem.

    [04] Erdogan will illegally visit the occupied area of Cyprus on 19-20 July

    Under the title: "Erdogan is coming", Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (07.07.11) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will illegally visit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus on 19 and 20 July on the occasion of the 37th anniversary from the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island. In statements yesterday, Erdogan said that he will be coming to the occupied area of Cyprus upon an invitation by Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    During a press conference yesterday, Erdogan was asked the following: "Some local newspapers in Cyprus wrote that your visit to Cyprus might be postponed because of the reactions against the Government. Could you comment?"

    Erdogan replied the following: "I am not interested in the evaluations of the local newspapers or some marginal groups in Cyprus. If Allah wants, I will be in Cyprus on 19-20 of the month accepting an invitation by the president of the republic".

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Letter from the Trade Unions' Platform to Ban Ki-moon prior to the Geneva meeting says they would not accept a solution based on separate states

    Turkish Cypriot Kibris Postasi webpage (06.07.11, http://www.kibrispostasi.com) reports that yesterday the Trade Unions' Platform sent a letter to the U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon through UN officials at the Ledra Palace barricade. The letter was signed by 28 trade unions and 4 political parties and asks from the U.N. Secretary-General to encourage the leaders in Geneva on the issue of finding an early solution to the Cyprus problem. According to Kibris Postasi, the letter said the following:

    "We, as the Turkish Cypriot Union Platform, composed of 28 trade unions and 4 political parties would like to manifest our demands stated below. We would like to emphasize that the Turkish Cypriot Union Platform continues its struggle for democracy, peace and human rights and in the struggle for a bi-communal, bi-zonal United Federal Cyprus based on one sovereignty, one citizenship and one international identity with political equality of both communities, stated as in the relevant U.N .Security Council agreements and the 23rd of May and 1st of July 2008 dated High Level Agreements..

    The non-solution of the Cyprus problem, which has positioned our country in a force majeure position for many years, has exposed the Turkish Cypriots to dissolve economically, culturally and socially. An urgent solution to the problem is essential for both communities and the future of our island. We believe that a solution to the Cyprus problem will create a window of opportunities for all Cypriots. The opportunities experienced in 2004, in our attempts to reach a solution, have caused social frustration and a loss of a good opportunity. We would like to state that our major intention is to express our need for a solution rather than invoking the negativity experienced in the past on finding a solution and the continuation of the accusations.

    The solution must bring Cyprus to independence; it must outmatch external interference and must respect basic human rights and freedom of all Cypriots. A solution, which will be found, must be based to the common will of both communities, and must safeguard the common interest of all Cypriots, based on 'For Cyprus, by Cypriots'.

    We would like to emphasize that we do not accept the leaders' actions in declining the progress made between Mr Mehmet Ali Talat and Mr Demetris Christofias and we do not accept any proposal that will be based on two separate states that are outside of the agreed basis for a solution and U.N. parameters.

    Confidence building measures, which will strengthen the relations between the two communities and foster the process for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem, must be carried out without delay. Furthermore, economic, social, political and cultural cooperation within the communities must be supported.

    The Turkish Cypriots warmly welcome the assistance of the Secretary General of the United Nations for a population census in the Turkish Cypriot community, in order to bring an end to the discussions on population in north Cyprus. We recommend that you pursue your proposal for the population census to take place as soon as possible.

    The negative pressure on our culture, identity and social future caused by the economic, social and political developments in the northern part of our island is increasing our need even more for a solution. We would like to state our will for the protection of our social identity as Turkish Cypriots, and to be a politically equal co-founder of a United Federal Cyprus.

    We claim for the encouragement of both sides to reach an early agreement and for finding peace in Cyprus, and for our requests and determinations stated above to be taken into consideration during the summit which will be held between Your Excellency's presence and the two leaders in Geneva on the 7th of July, 2011.

    Sincerely,

    UNION PLATFORM ? Revolutionary Trade Union Federation (DEV-IS) , Cyprus Turkish Civil Servants Trade Union (KTAMS), Cyprus Turkish Teachers Trade Union (KTOS), Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers Trade Union (KTOEOS), Municipality Workers Trade Union (BES), Custom Services Trade Union (GUC-SEN), Cyprus Turkish Medical Doctors Trade Union (TIP-IS), The Union of State Employees (CAG-SEN), Press Workers Trade Union (BASIN-SEN), Eastern Mediterranean University Union and Solidarity Trade Union (DAU-BIR-SEN), Cooperative Workers Trade Union (KOOP-SEN), Cyprus Turkish Union Federation (TURK-SEN), Turkish Electricity Authority of Cyprus Workers Trade Union (EL-SEN), Revolutionary General Workers' Union (Devrimci Genel Is), Labour Union (Emek-Is), Cyprus Turkish Oil Workers Union (Petrol-Is), Eastern Mediterranean University Union of Academic Staff (DAU-SEN), Union of Parliament Employees (Mec-Sen), the Tax Office Employees Union (Vergi-Sen), Famagusta Turkish General Workers Union, Guzelyurt Lefke Producers of Citrus Union, Baraka Cultural Centre, Cyprus Turkish Air Carrier Union (Hava-Sen), Telecommunications Department Employees Union (Tel-Sen), Bank Employees Union (Bank-Sen), Health Care Workers Union (Saglik-Sen), Food Workers Union (Gida-Sen), Cyprus Turkish Midwives and Nurses Union, New Cyprus Party (YKP), Social Democratic Party (TDP), Republican Turkish Party (CTP), United Cyprus Party (BKP)".

    [06] Yorgancioglu said that only with a Cyprus settlement there will be prosperity for the two sides

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (07.07.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot political party Republican Turkish Party ? United Forces (CTP-BG) held yesterday its first press conference under its new leadership, and referred on domestic issues and the Cyprus problem.

    Referring to the relations between Turkey and the breakaway regime, Ozkan Yorgancioglu --the new leader of CTP-BG-- wondered if Turkey's aim is a "north Cyprus" without Turkish Cypriots and if Turkey has a secret population policy towards Cyprus. He added that the relations between them should be based on equality and the Turkish Cypriots should be self-administrated.

    Yorgancioglu called the two leaders at this sensitive time of the Cyprus talks that the only condition for prosperity and tranquillity of the two sides in Cyprus is a Cyprus settlement.

    Moreover, Yorgancioglu announced that his party prepares a program titled "Existence programme" with their political thesis. Pointing that the Turkish Cypriots are faced with financial, social and political problems and the policies of the so-called government of the National Unity Party (UBP), this set in danger the existence, the civilization and the identity of the Turkish Cypriots.

    [07] DP and TDP to organize joint protests against the "TRNC government"

    Under the title: "DP and TDP to collaborate", Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (07.07.11) reports that a delegation of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) headed by its chairman Mehmet Cakici visited yesterday the Democratic Party (DP) and asked for the party's support to the "Protest with black flags" [Tr. note: a protest organized some days ago by TDP where the protesters holding black flags --resembling the bad days the Turkish Cypriots experience-- are calling the Turkish Cypriots by chanting with drums and trumpets to revolt for a struggle against the "government" and to give an end to their oppression].

    On the other hand, according to the paper, the central executive committee of the Democratic Party (DP) met yesterday and decided that the party will cooperate from now on with TDP to organize joint actions.

    In his statements yesterday, Serdar Denktas, chairman of DP stated that his party has launched an initiative with TDP to organize joint actions and stressed that the problem of the "country" is the current "government".

    Also speaking, Cakici, chairman of TDP has stated that they are expecting DP's support adding that they have launched this initiative to organize actions with the aim for the current "government" to end by September 30.

    Cakici referred to the protest with the black flags and said that they will organize two different protests in front of the "assembly" during the two last meetings of the "assembly" and added that they will also continue with protests in other places.

    (AK)

    [08] Official of Doga College alleges that they were "granted" a "license" to open an educational organization in the occupied areas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (07.07.11) reports on statements by Okan Dilik, official of the Doga College who in a press conference yesterday, inter alia, said that they were "granted" a "license" from the so-called ministry of education, youth and sports to open an education organization or private education organizations in the "TRNC".

    In his statements, Dilik said that with the "permission slip" they have, the existence of Doga College to the "TRNC" is formalized.

    Dilik further said that that had already started the registration of students.

    (AK)

    [09] Trade union cuts off the electricity of the "finance ministry" to protest for its debts

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (07.07.11) reports that the "Turkish Electricity Authority of Cyprus Workers Trade Union" (EL-SEN) held a protest yesterday in front of the self-styled ministry of finance and cut off the electricity supply of the "ministry" arguing that it owes money to the "Electricity Authority" (KIB-TEK) for the electricity it uses. The Trade Unions' Platform and some politicians exerted their support to the protest. After the electricity of the "ministry" was cut off, the participants started applauding and lit candles.

    The chairman of "EL-SEN" Tuluy Kalyoncu said that the "state" owes 277 million Turkish liras to "KIB-TEK", that "KIB-TEK" owes 182 million liras to the "state" and that the latter is in debt of 95 million liras to "KIB-TEK".

    Meanwhile, the so-called council of ministers convened yesterday and decided that "EL-SEN" has no authority to cut off the electricity of the "ministry of finance". It also decided to launch an interrogation against the persons who are responsible for the cut off. Finally, in statements to Kibris, Ersin Tatar, self-styled minister of finance, said that the "ministry" owes nothing for its electricity.

    (I/Ts.)

    [10] Turkish Deputy Premier Arinc wants to be in charge of Cyprus affairs

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (07.07.11), in its front page under the title: "Arinc wants Cyprus", reports that Turkey's Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc ?former Assembly Speaker? asked all the duties of former Deputy Premier Cemil Cicek including the Cyprus affairs.

    Rasih Resat, writing in Haberdar, also reports that Arinc, apart from the previous duties of Cicek, wants also the Turkish State Television (TRT).


    [B] TURKISH PRESS

    The announcement of the new cabinet of the 61st Government of Turkey by Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kemal Kilicdaroglu's meeting today with Cemil Cicek over the Parliament's oath taking crisis, a statement by Erdogan that he will visit the occupied area of Cyprus on July 19-20, reports that Kilicdaroglu has sent a second explanatory letter to the EU for not taking the oath, the arrest of 5 persons for the Deniz Feneri case, reports and commentaries about the Geneva meeting today and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish press.

    [11] Erdogan announces his new Cabinet

    Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (06.07.11) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced his new Cabinet, consolidating the power and authority of the Government under himself and a small group of other key players, namely four Deputy Prime Ministers.

    The paper reports that while preserving a majority of the previous Cabinet, Erdogan had a few surprises in the "master Cabinet" he announced on Wednesday, which saw six new additions but left largely untouched the executive Ministries that contributed to the ruling party's 50% election win last month.

    The four Deputy Prime Ministers, Bulent Arinc, Ali Babacan, Besir Atalay and Bekir Bozdag, will head the country's most crucial and significant institutions.

    Arinc has been by Erdogan's side since the very beginning, appointed as Parliament Speaker in 2002, and as Deputy Prime Minister in 2009. A leading figure within the party, Arinc is expected to gain even more power under the new arrangement, which places him in charge of the Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT) the national broadcast channel; the Anatolia news agency; and the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK).

    Babacan, a part of the Cabinet since 2002, holds the reins of the economy and is the most trusted name for Erdogan in this area.

    Atalay, a former Interior Minister, is also the architect of the Kurdish initiative and will continue captaining Turkey's fight against terrorism.

    Bozdag, meanwhile, is known for his grasp of the judiciary, and is expected to mediate the relationship between the Religious Affairs Directorate and the Parliament.

    The new Cabinet:

    Defence Minister Vecdi Gonul, who held his title for 8.5 years, was left off the new list, as were Education Minister Nimet Cubukcu, State Minister Nafiz Ozak, and Public Works and Settlement Minister Mustafa Demir. State Ministers Mehmet Aydin and Aliye Kavaf, who were not candidates for deputyship, and newly elected Parliament Speaker Cemil Cicek, were also excluded from the new Cabinet.

    Some members remained in the Cabinet, but saw a change in position on the new list. Interior Minister Atalay was made Deputy Prime Minister and will head the country's anti-terror initiative. Group deputy chairman Bozdag was also brought over to be Deputy Prime Minister, responsible for the relationship between the Religious Affairs Directorate, the Alevi initiative and Parliament. Faruk Celik was made the Labour Minister, a position he had previously held.

    Politicians who proved successful in the last term, such as Transportation Minister Binali Yildirim, Culture and Tourism Minister Ertugrul Gunay, Justice Minister Sadullah Ergin, European Union Minister Egemen Bagis, Science, Industry and Technology Minister Nihat Ergun and Health Minister Recep Akdag were kept at their posts.

    Foreign Affairs Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan, Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz and Food, Agriculture and Livestock Minister Mehdi Eter also resumed their previous positions, thus preserving Erdogan's core group of officers, some a part of the Cabinet since 2002, for the new term.

    Hayati Yazici was appointed to head the newly formed Ministry of Customs and Trade, and Cevdet Yilmaz was made Minister of Development. As expected, Mehmet Simsek was made Minister of Finance, with Veysel Eroglu, the former head of the State Waterworks Authority (DSI) was named Minister of Forestry and Waterworks.

    The surprises:

    The big surprise of the new Cabinet was the change in the Education Ministry. Atalay was expected to be appointed in place of Cubukcu, who has been under fire due to the recent scandals related to national exams. Erdogan, however, brought to the position Labour Minister Omer Dincer, an experienced politician with an academic background who has been a part of the Prime Minister's brainstorming team for years. His appointment as Education Minister could signal educational reforms. Cubukcu could be named group deputy chairman.

    The second surprise was Erdogan's decision to bring in former Transportation Ministry Undersecretary Ismet Yilmaz, who has naval and legal training, in place of former Defence Minister Gonul. One of Erdogan's most trusted officers, Yilmaz has ahead of him the task of the next Supreme Military Council (YAS) in August, where the jailed generals will be brought to the agenda.

    As for the new names entering the Cabinet this term, Housing Development Administration (TOKI) chief Erdogan Bayraktar was made Minister of Environment and Urban Planning, Fatma Sahin was made Minister of Family and Social Politics, successful group deputy chairman Suat Kilic was made Minister of Youth and Sports and the ruling party's former general secretary Idris Naim Sahin was named Minister of Interior.

    [12] "New Turkish Cabinet will focus on economy and foreign policy challenges"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (06.07.11) carries a news analysis by Abdullah Bozkurt. The paper, inter alia, writes the following:

    "The new Cabinet unveiled by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Wednesday, following the June 12 parliamentary elections in which the Justice and Development Party's (AK Party) support increased to a record 50%, means that the AKP Government will continue focusing on the economic challenges posed by the impressive growth rate at home and confront foreign policy issues in the region and around the world.

    The Prime Minister kept his Cabinet pretty much intact, rewarding the team for its accomplishments and past performance, especially on economic policies. He brought six new Ministers to the Cabinet while reshuffling the portfolio for three existing ones.

    It appears the Prime Minister looked at the professional competence of candidates when he appointed them to certain Ministries and ignored intra-party balances. The good ratings that most Ministers received in the previous Government helped them retain their positions in the new Government as well.

    The fact that Erdogan kept the economy and foreign policy tsars in their positions is a strong signal that the performance of these Ministers met his expectations in the previous term. The stable economy, good finances and impressive growth brought unemployment down to the single digits and reduced inflation and interest rates, but challenges still remain. The party was rewarded for its economic accomplishments during its eight-and-half-year rule with a third term. It is clear that Erdogan will be banking on stability and continuity in critical Ministries whose performances will ensure that AKP holds on to power in the next election cycle.

    Ali Babacan, who has coordinated the country's economy since 2003, with the exception of 2007-2009, in which he served as Foreign Minister, kept his position, a sign that Erdogan is pleased with his performance in helping Turkey rebound from the global economic crisis of 2008. He is among four Deputy Prime Ministers, which means that he will still be the senior figure in Erdogan's Cabinet responsible for the economy. He increased the regulatory capacity of the Government over financial and business institutions and prevented the Government from succumbing to populist policies on the eve of elections.

    Having recorded the second best growth among the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) economies last year with 8.9%, Turkey's gross domestic product (GDP) posted the world record in the last quarter with 11% growth. Babacan is expected to push for new-generation reforms to complement the ongoing structural reform process. He will advocate further reforms to improve the business and investment environment and refine banking sector regulations.

    Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the architect of the zero-problems with neighbours' policy, also kept his place, as expected. Though Davutoglu failed on a number of foreign policy initiatives under his watch, as his "strategic depth" vision was challenged, he nevertheless helped greatly in raising Turkey's profile in the region and the world. Davutoglu, a non-stop workaholic diplomat, ushered Turkey into accepting a new role as mediator in the immediate neighbourhood. He faces turmoil in the Middle East and a deadlocked normalization process with Armenia.

    The newly created Ministry dedicated exclusively to European Union Affairs is a strong message that AKP is determined to pursue the membership process for the next four years. Egemen Bagis, Turkey's point man in negotiations with the EU, will lead the new Ministry. EU affairs, previously handled by a State Minister whose portfolio included dealing with the EU will now be directed by a high-profile Ministry with its own bureaucracy and budget. Bagis knows key players in the EU and has established good rapport with his counterparts in European capitals. His task is not easy, however. Not a single chapter has been opened in negotiations in the past 12 months, which has caused a further decrease in Turkey's already declining appetite for membership in the 27-nation bloc. Wary of the stalled process, Turkey is pushing for new dynamism in talks.

    The appointment of Bekir Bozdag, a lawyer from Yozgat province and former AKP parliamentary group deputy chairman, to a position of Deputy Prime Minister was interpreted as a sign of the importance the Government attaches to relations with the Parliament. Idris Naim Sahin, former AKP general secretary and Ordu Deputy, will oversee the Interior Ministry. Sahin is close confidante of Erdogan.

    Sadullah Ergin preserved his position in the new Cabinet, which is a sign that the judicial overhaul in Turkey will continue. The Government has for some time been under pressure from the Council of Europe (CoE) and the EU because of the high number of human rights cases originating from Turkey. Turkey adopted a mini package of constitutional reforms last year with the public referendum, but more must be done to bring Turkey's legal system in line with European standards. Lengthy periods of detention during trials and infringement on media freedom top the agenda in the Justice Ministry. Ergin is also expected to play a key role in drafting a brand new Constitution to replace the military-era one."

    [13] Erdogan: July 15 deadline remarks were "slip of the tongue"

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (06.07.11) reports on statements by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said that remarks by a deputy chairman of his ruling Justice and Development Party's (AKP) parliamentary group, who set July 15 as deadline for the boycotting deputies to take their oaths, were a "slip of the tongue."

    Responding to questions from reporters as he announced his new Cabinet following the June 12 elections, Erdogan said remarks by AKP parliamentary group deputy chairman Mustafa Elitas, who said it would be too late for the opposition deputies to take their oaths after July 15 as they may be stripped of their mandates, were a mistake. "We want the opposition to come to Parliament and take the oath. We have no prejudice. My parliamentary group deputy chairman committed a slip of the tongue on the July 15 issue. I do not want to give any date. The main opposition is the alternative to the Government in democracies. A main opposition party should not act marginally. They have serious responsibility for failing to take their oaths," Erdogan said.

    Inter alia, Erdogan also called on the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP) to join Parliament. Deputies from the BDP are boycotting Parliament for reasons similar to the CHP's. The BDP is holding its parliamentary group meetings in Diyarbakir. "If they want solutions to problems, they should not go to Diyarbakir but come here [to Parliament]," he noted.

    The boycotting parties have also been criticized by civil society for their absence in Parliament. Releasing a statement yesterday, the Education Personnel Labour Union (Egitim Bir-Sen) said the "oath-taking boycott" will benefit nobody. "There are many deep-rooted problems in Turkey, mainly the need for a new Constitution. Attempts to take the nation's will hostage serve only to hinder the progress of our country, which has won prestige in its region and the international arena," said the union's statement.

    [14] Turkey and the Transitional National Council of Libya sign a 200 million USD loan deal in Ankara

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.07.11) reported that Turkey on Wednesday pledged to provide the Libyan opposition with 200 million USD in addition to 100 million USD given earlier. Accordingly, Turkey and the Transitional National Council of Libya signed the 200 million USD loan deal in Ankara.

    The agreement was signed by Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan and Finance and Oil Minister Ali Abdussalam Tarhouni on behalf of Libya's Transitional National Council. Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and Mahmoud Jibril, head of Libya's Transitional National Council, also attended the signing ceremony.

    After the recent deal, total loans granted by Turkey to the Libyan opposition reached 300 USD million.

    [15] Turkey and Ecuador sign a deal on visa exemption

    Ankara Anatolia (06.07.11) reports that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu met Ecuador's Deputy Foreign Minister Rafael Quintero Lopez in Ankara on Wednesday. The meeting was closed to the press. During the meeting, Davutoglu presented the signed text of a visa exemption agreement between Turkey and Ecuador.

    Lopez has become the first foreign official Davutoglu received after he was re-appointed as Foreign Minister of Turkey.

    [16] The number of Syrian refugees in Turkey drops to 9.472

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (06.07.11) reports that the number of Syrian people who escaped from the violence in their country and took shelter in Turkey dropped to 9.472 as of Wednesday.

    According to a statement released by the Turkish Prime Ministry Disaster and Emergency Management Directorate (AFAD), a total of 15.371 Syrian nationals have fled to Turkey and 5.899 of them have returned to their country until today. AFAD said that 267 Syrian nationals returned to Syria, as 36 more Syrians entered Turkey to seek shelter on Tuesday and Wednesday. As of today, a total of 9.472 Syrians are staying at tent-camps in Turkey, the statement added.

    AFAD said Syrians were staying in six temporary tent-sites set up by the Turkish Red Crescent in Altinozu, Yayladagi, Reyhanli towns and Apaydin village of Turkey's southern province of Hatay. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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