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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-07-20

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. 136/11 20.07.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

  • [01] Erdogan argues that the existing window of opportunity in Cyprus will not remain open forever
  • [02] Eroglu asks from the UN to stop recognizing the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] Erdogan: "There is no state named Cyprus; we will never accept as our interlocutor the Greek Cypriot President"
  • [04] Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet
  • [05] Speech by Eroglu at "BRT" on the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus
  • [06] The occupation regime attacked protesters against Erdogan's visit
  • [07] TDP proposes "Confidence Building Measures package"
  • [08] Turkish Cypriot party leaders commented on Erdogan's statement
  • [09] Bozer with Turkish parliamentarians
  • [B] TURKISH PRESS

  • [10] Statements by Erdogan prior to his departure for the occupied area; He reiterates the threat to freeze Turkish-EU relations if Cyprus holds the 2012 EU presidency
  • [11] Bagis urges the European Commission to encourage parties in Cyprus for a solution
  • [12] Babacan: Is impossible for Turkey to maintain its EU relations when an unrecognised country holds the rotating presidency
  • [13] How the Turkish press covered Erdogan's visit to the occupied area
  • [14] "New Cyprus strategy"
  • [15] "Erdogan's 'reset' for Cyprus"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT PRESS

    Turkey's Prime Minister illegal visit to the occupied area and his various statements, Eroglu's statements after the negotiations and his televised speech on the occasion of the anniversary of the Turkish invasion, the culmination of the celebrations for the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus and the speech by Erdogan and Eroglu, the "police" preventing by force protests against Erdogan's visit, messages for the anniversary and comments by political parties regarding the return of Morfou and Erdogan's statement, a delegation from the Turkish Parliament visiting "TRNC officials" and other internal subjects are the main topics of today's Turkish Cypriot press.

    [01] Erdogan argues that the existing window of opportunity in Cyprus will not remain open forever

    According to Illegal Bayrak television (20.07.11), the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has alleged that Turkey wishes the peace environment in Cyprus to pave the way for peace, development and cooperation in a region much broader than the island. Speaking today at Dr. Fazil Kucuk Boulevard in the occupied part of Lefkosia during the "celebrations" on the occasion of the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus, Erdogan claimed, however, that the existing window of opportunity will not remain open forever.

    Erdogan referred to the 2004 referendum and argued that the Turkish side is stronger after that referendum.

    He noted, inter alia, the following: "We sincerely believe in the target of the solution. However, we should not forget the following: The knife has reached the bone. We did our part and we are ready to do it. We call on the other interested parties to support peace and take steps in this direction. The current negotiation process, which exceeded three years with its preparatory period, has come to its final stage... There is absolutely no doubt now that the solution within the UN parameters will be found in accordance to the agreements of the leaders in their Joint Statements during the current negotiation process. The new partnership within this framework will be a bi-zonal, bi-communal federation based on political equality as described in the relevant Resolutions of the UN Security Council. In parallel to a federal government with a single international identity, this partnership will have a Founding Turkish Cypriot State and a Founding Greek Cypriot State?"

    Erdogan reiterated the Turkish view that an agreement should be reached by the end of the year and a referendum should be held before July 2012, so that the "new partnership state" to take the term presidency of the EU.

    He argued: "A term presidency in which the Turkish Cypriots will also be participating in the second half of 2012 and as a result of this Turkey will be able to accept it as interlocutor, could contribute in not only to the acceleration of the relations between Turkey and the EU, but in Europe's being upgraded politically and strategically".

    Erdogan reiterated that the relations of Turkey with the EU will completely freeze if Cyprus takes the term presidency without a solution to the Cyprus problem. He alleged that no state such as "Cyprus" exists, but there is the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus, and the "TRNC", as he described the breakaway regime.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu asks from the UN to stop recognizing the Republic of Cyprus

    According to Illegal Bayrak television (20.07.11), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Erdoglu has alleged that it is wrong for the UN to pursue a policy in parallel to Resolution No 186 of 4 March 1964. Speaking today in the occupied part of Lefkosia during the celebrations on the occasion of the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus, Eroglu wondered whether the Cyprus problem would not have been settled if this stance of the international organization was correct. "If the problem has not yet been solved, should this Resolution and the Resolutions endorsed in parallel to this decision not be questioned", he asked and replied: "In our view they should".

    Eroglu said that they expect the UN Secretary-General and his colleagues to act taking into consideration the "various tricks and delaying tactics" [of the Greek Cypriots] and added that the UN should not permit the prevention of a viable agreement which is based on the realities. He argued that the UN should indicate in a clearer manner the side which is right and the side which is wrong.

    Referring to the EU, Eroglu argued that the stance of the EU towards the interests of the Turkish Cypriots is not right and should be changed.

    Eroglu asked also for more "active and intensive" support from the Islamic countries.

    Addressing to the Greek Cypriots, Eroglu argued that they should take lessons from what happened before 1974 and understand that an agreement in Cyprus could be viable and lasting if it takes into consideration what happened before 1974 and align itself with the existing realities. Eroglu alleged that the Greek Cypriot administrators and politicians should stop giving hope to their people that they could return back to the situation which existed before 1974.

    He added: "37 years passed since 1974. A political, socioeconomic system has been established in northern Cyprus. The Turkish Cypriot people are not and will not be in favor of abandoning their self-administration and of endangering bi-zonality and Motherland Turkey's active and effective guarantees".

    Eroglu argued that the Cyprus problem could be solved if progress is made in the direction of the above-mentioned points. "Otherwise, as state and Government officials of motherland Turkey have many times stressed, the Turkish Cypriot people should not anymore be victims of the non-solution", he alleged.

    Referring to the tripartite summit in Geneva on 7 July, Eroglu said that the Turkish side was satisfied by the UN Secretary-General's demand in the direction of the intensification of the negotiations. He reiterated the Turkish view that the negotiations should be completed successfully by the end of this year and a referendum should be held in the first months of 2012.

    Eroglu claimed: "If the target is July 2012 when the Greek Cypriot side will overtake the term presidency of the European Union, it would be tantamount to daydreaming to expect from our interlocutors, whose term presidency is guaranteed as of the beginning of next year, to show the necessary flexibility".

    Eroglu reiterated that the Turkish side wants a solution based on the existing realities, the equality and sovereignty of the two "peoples", and added that bi-zonality and Turkey's active and effective guarantees should not be diluted.

    He alleged that embargoes are implemented on the Turkish Cypriots and the approval of EU's Direct Trade Regulation is prevented. He recalled that the Turkish Cypriot side has started giving electricity to the Greek Cypriots and wished for this step of the Turkish side to bring the two sides closer and conduce to the development of concrete cooperation between them before the comprehensive solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Eroglu said that he conveyed these messages last week during his visit to Brussels and added that he is certain that the Europeans understand the Turkish Cypriots, but cannot take the steps they want because of the obstacles by the Greek Cypriots.

    Eroglu said he was proud and was moved by the speech earlier delivered by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and wished for the Greek Cypriots and the other interested countries to have listened to this speech carefully. Eroglu thanked Turkey for its support to the Turkish Cypriots and said that since 2002 Erdogan sincerely wants the Turkish Cypriots to be developed, to live in prosperity, and to get rid of the 'embargoes" and from being the victims of the non-solution of the Cyprus problem.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Erdogan: "There is no state named Cyprus; we will never accept as our interlocutor the Greek Cypriot President"

    Turkish daily Star Kibris (20.07.11) covers the visit of Recep Tayip Erdogan, Turkey's Prime Minister to the occupied area of Cyprus. [Erdogan is accompanied by his wife Emine and daughter Sumeyye Erdogan, the assistant Prime Minister Besir Atalay, Turkey's Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, EU Minister Egemen Bagis and the General Secretary of Turkey's Presidency Mustafa Isen.]

    Erdogan upon his arrival at illegal Tymbou airport addressed the gathered crowd saying that a state named Cyprus does not exist, but there is "the Greek Cypriot administration and the TRNC".

    Erdogan continued his speech saying, inter alia: "We sat and discussed, but they [Greek Cypriots] did not stay loyal to this. We remained. You [Turkish Cypriots] remained loyal, 65% said yes. But the south said 75% no [in the Annan Plan referendum]. There is no such a structure in the EU acquis communautaire. They did not keep their word but you did and we are right".

    He addressed the Turkish Cypriots as brothers which should not forget that they are one, they are united, and they are one heart. He also said that investments and the improvement of infrastructures in "TRNC" will continue and added that construction of double-lane roads in every part of "north Cyprus" will raise the level of transportation. He also referred to Anamur dam which is scheduled to transfer water to Cyprus via an underwater pipe, and said that upon its completion "north Cyprus" will never face water shortages.

    Referring to the electricity infrastructure, he said that there are no longer any problems and that the Turkish Cypriots give a "humanitarian lesson" to the Greek Cypriots. He repeated that he as Prime Minister, his fellow Ministers, his Government and his nation love the Turkish Cypriots and that their unity and solidarity are their strength.

    Similar were his statements after the meeting he had with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. "We will continue with the same determination, hand by hand Motherland daughter-land, in the same path.[...] The marginal groups cannot destroy our union and solidarity, no one should worry. With every passing day, north Cyprus will progress forward. With infrastructures, superstructures, political strength, you should not worry, it [north Cyprus] will take its place in the future".

    Moreover, during the joint press conference after the meeting, Erdogan said: "As the 61st Government of the Republic of Turkey, with our first visit being in TRNC, in any case we manifest what we want to say. From this point on nothing will change in the [negotiation] process. This must thus be known.

    And see, they have not yet revealed the report -May 2004- that Annan prepared. This is thought provoking. Why they don't disclose it? What is the reason? This is also interesting. Despite all this, whether it is Mr Talat or Mr Eroglu they have patiently continued the process. [?]

    We wish that in these 19 meetings the expected end will be reached. This is Turkey's desire as a guarantor country. And we expect the same desire from Greece. We even expect the same from England, being a guarantor country. This we must put forward very clear. No one should expect from us to have the President of the Greek Cypriot administration as our interlocutor. We will never sit on the table having them as our interlocutor."

    [04] Greek and Turkish Cypriot leaders meet

    Illegal Bayrak television (19.07.11) reported on the meeting of President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu in the framework of the ongoing negotiation process on the Cyprus problem. Yesterday's meeting was the first following the tripartite summit in Geneva.

    Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Eroglu said that they discussed the intensified procedure that lies ahead of the negotiation process until October 21, during which another tripartite summit is scheduled to take place in New York. "We have agreed to hold meetings twice a week and concentrate on how we can reach convergences on core issues," said Eroglu and added that just as the UN Secretary-General had noted in his report, the issue of maps will be the last subject to be discussed.

    Touching upon the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's visit to the occupied area, Eroglu said that he was very honored that the Turkish Premier was paying his first official foreign visit to the "TRNC", at such a significant time.

    In addition, Ankara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 19.07.11) reported that the two leaders agreed to begin full-day talks twice a week on July 25. Reporting on Eroglu statements, AA reported that Eroglu said that they would work on topics of "Administration and Power Sharing", "Property", "Territory", "EU", "Economy" and "Domestic Security" till October 21. Eroglu, inter alia, said the criteria would be put forth in intensified talks.

    [05] Speech by Eroglu at "BRT" on the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus

    The web site of Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu's "office" published, inter alia, the following speech of Eroglu at the illegal Bayrak television on the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus:

    "(?)

    Once more a year has passed and we have reached the 37th anniversary of the Cyprus Peace Operation. For Turkish Cypriots, the Peace Operation meant a rebirth, a return to life.

    (?)

    If Motherland Turkey had not taken the steps required on the Cyprus issue, if it had not done what is right and fulfilled its historical responsibilities, then today we would have a Turkey nodding in agreement to every one of its neighbours' statements, ready to bow down before any external threat, and this would have been a source of great pain for all of us. Instead we have today's Turkey: the leader.

    (?)

    Thus, every section of our society, from our media, universities and teachers to our non-governmental organizations, unions and political parties each have an important role to play in bringing about a comprehension of the historical facts.

    (?)

    The Prime Minister of Motherland Turkey, Mr Recep Tayyip Erdogan, will be among us today, participating in our joy and sharing with us the greetings, love and support of our brothers and sisters of Motherland Turkey.

    We would like to say 'Welcome' to him in advance, and to seize this opportunity to underline that no one can ever damage the unity, peace and bonds of brotherhood between Motherland Turkey and the TRNC.

    In my 7 March 2011 speech at the Alakopru Dam ground-breaking ceremony in Anamur, I drew attention to the economic, political and social importance of the project for the transfer of water from Motherland Turkey to northern Cyprus through a submarine pipeline, and I said:

    'Various authorities in the Motherland have talked about transferring water from Turkey to Northern Cyprus, but I want to emphasise the importance that Mr Erdogan attaches to this project.

    The Peace Water Project is of immense importance to the Cyprus issue and its resolution. This project will genuinely strengthen my hand at the negotiating table. This project will further strengthen the bonds between Motherland Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots. And the Peace Water Project will spread the already powerful position of Turkey in the world even farther abroad.'

    (?)

    You all know that we made it today side by side with Motherland Turkey.

    (?)

    Next, the efforts to come to an agreement on Cyprus began. Up until 1974 we resisted the Greek Cypriots' attempts to use this process to make Cyprus into a state of Greece, and our Motherland supported us on this. Together with Motherland Turkey we founded our state.

    Our economy that had always been in deficit and debt before and immediately after 1974 grew to a significant size, despite all the embargoes and the efforts to isolate us.

    All of our hard work, all our knowledge, our culture, our people and the support of Motherland Turkey helped us to become one of the highest income per capita countries in the region, even though we started from nothing.

    Together with Motherland Turkey we have managed to establish six universities and then to improve them. Are these enough? No. We should develop even more?

    (?)

    As I mentioned before, the successful conclusion of the project for the transferring of water from Motherland Turkey to the TRNC. [Tr.note: breakaway regime] will bring with it great opportunities.

    And, by adding the transferring of electrical energy from Motherland Turkey to this project, the balance will shift and all of the plans that have been made will change. The future of the Turkish Cypriots lies in investment, production, universities, tourism and trade.

    Improvements in these will lead to the development of every field. And this process will, in turn, make a great contribution to the efforts currently being made to reach a favourable solution to the Cyprus issue.

    As we are talking about the Cyprus issue, I want to briefly, one more time, underline these key points.

    In the third tripartite summit that was held in Geneva on 7 July we, once again, put forward our most sincere proposals for an agreement. We tried to eliminate each and every excuse that the Greek Cypriots had been using to support their efforts to stall the process and, so, push them towards a real process of negotiation. We gladly accepted the United Nations' General-Secretary's request to hold more intense negotiations from now until October.

    Our attitude is clear: we, and Motherland Turkey, think that the negotiations should end by the end of this year and that the referendum should be held during the first months of 2012. We genuinely believe that this is possible.

    If, instead, July 2012 is set as the target, then the Greek Cypriots will become the president of the European Union for a term, and it would be delusional to then expect any of the required flexibility from the Greek Cypriots after, as of the start of next year, they are guaranteed a term of presidency of the EU.

    We have both the necessary basis and the time required to achieve this. That is, if the Greek Cypriot side wakes up from its dream and understands that is equal to the Turkish Cypriot side.

    Our idea is clear: We want a bi-zonal solution based on the equality and sovereignty of two nations, a solution that takes into account the current facts of Cyprus, a solution in which the effective and real guarantee of Motherland Turkey cannot ever be changed.

    We seek to convert Cyprus into an island of peace and welfare that will set an example for the entire region.

    The recent explosion on the Greek Cypriot side demonstrated how wrong it is that gunpowder was brought to this beautiful island.

    Cyprus is not to be a place that divides Turkey and Greece; it must be a place that unites them. The partnership state that will be founded here will also be an example for the improvement of Turkey and Greece's relationship.

    But, unfortunately, the Greek Cypriot side has not shaken the hand that we have extended to them in peace and friendship. There are still embargoes imposed on us and they have even prevented the European Union from approving the Direct Trade Regulation.

    However, as you know, after the recent sad events, we offered to supply electricity to the Greek Cypriot side and we have now begun supplying the south with electricity. The Turkish Cypriot people know how to act when faced with a humanitarian issue: to act with no thought for politics. My wish is that this step will lead to a closer relationship between two states, to the development of concrete areas of cooperation ? even without waiting for a comprehensive solution to the problems.

    This is what I talked about during my visit to Brussels last week. I know that they understand us: they see that we are right but, unfortunately, they are not able to take the steps that we have requested from them because the Greek Cypriot side has prevented them. However, we will continue to persist with our efforts.

    (?)"

    [06] The occupation regime attacked protesters against Erdogan's visit

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (20.07.11) reports that the occupation regime turned all its security forces yesterday against the activists who were protesting for the illegal visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the occupied area of Cyprus in order to participate in the celebrations on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the 1974 Turkish invasion in Cyprus. Under the front-page titles: "Hit me, I will not die" and "The malice of imam" it refers to three incidents which happened yesterday.

    According to the paper, the "police", who were given the order not to permit any protesting demonstration or banners, attempted to bring down a banner hanged at KTAMS trade union's headquarters. The banner was saying the following: "You give us one and take five from us, and without being ashamed you say that you feed us". The activists did not allow the "police" to take the banner. The "police" obtained a 'search warrant" from the "court" and confiscated the banner.

    The second incident happened at the Hamid Mandres roundabout where the Trade Unions Platform was planning a demonstration. The paper reports that the "police" clashed with the gathered people using globs, shields and pepper spray and did not allow them to approach the roundabout. Also the "police" turned a blind eye to an attack the protesters faced by a fascist nationalistic group, during which the paper's correspondent was injured.

    The third incident took place in front of the former Cyprus Turkish Airlines building, where the "police" attacked the demonstration tent of Hava-Sen. In their effort to confiscate the protest banners that were inside the tent, serious brawl took place. Injured protesters had to be transported to the hospital by ambulance, as well as a "policeman". The paper notes that the violence used by the "police" was instructed by Erdal Emanet, suspect for the murder of Solomou, was recently reappointed in Lefkosia's "police".

    [07] TDP proposes "Confidence Building Measures package"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam (20.07.11) reports that the Communal Democracy Party announced yesterday in its headquarters a 9-article package with confidence building measures for an early solution, since according to them, the Cyprus problem is headed to a dead end.

    Mehmet Cakici, the chairman of TDP said that nowadays in the agenda is the statement of Erdogan that "Morfou and Varosha will not be given," a statement which can block the negotiation process and lead to an international crisis. Therefore, they wanted to announce their measures. Cakici also commented that the statement by Turkey's Prime Minister in such a stage targets only to increase his bargaining power and that is the opposite of the policy "always a step ahead for solution".

    Following are the nine steps that TDP proposes, being a party that advocates dialogue instead of fighting and arguing: 1. Turkey must fulfil its obligations stemming from the Customs Union Protocol that signed in 2005 to open its ports and airports to Cypriot vessels, 2. The Direct Trade Regulation must be put into force and Famagusta port should open to international trade, 3. The Green Line Regulation should broaden and integrate a trade cooperation between Turkish Cypriots, Turkey and the Republic of Cyprus, 4. Varosha should be returned to its owners, according to UN decisions and under their supervision, 5. Permission for international flights from illegal Tymbou airport must be given under EU supervision, 6. Turkey, Greece, England and the two Cypriot communities must develop a mechanism for determining the number of troops in the island and then ensure its reduction, 7. Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots must start and develop the cooperation of administration units until the solution, 8. A common census must take place in the north and the south, under EU and UN supervision in order to establish the number of people living in the island and their status, 9. Stimuli must be given for the development of trade and social relations of the two communities.

    [08] Turkish Cypriot party leaders commented on Erdogan's statement

    Turkish daily Yeni Duzen (20.07.11) reports that some Turkish Cypriot political party leaders commented on Erdogan's statements in Ankara on Monday to a group of Turkish Cypriot journalists, where he stated that "not only Varosha but Morfou as well will not be returned to its legal owners".

    The leader of the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) Ozkan Yorgancioglu said that in case there is no Cyprus settlement before October 2012, then it is a reality that the process will experience many difficulties. He said that the freezing on Turkey-EU relations is an issue that may be discussed, however, he stressed that the important thing is to exert intense efforts for a solution. Yorgancioglu said that the leaders should be encouraged more.

    Referring to Erdogan's statements on Morphou and Varosha, Yorgancioglu said that they cannot bargain on these, when the maps have not still been discussed.

    The leader of Democracy and Trust Party (DGP) Tahsin Ertugruloglu described Turkish Premier Erdogan's statements regarding Cyprus as "very realistic" and "positive". He said that he can sign under every line of Erdogan's statements, adding that Erdogan's approach makes them happy.

    Turgay Avci, leader of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP), said that Erdogan's statements match up with ORP's policies since the day of its establishment. He said that Erdogan's statement on Morphou and Varosha made them happy, adding that they were certain that Erdogan will never make a concession on these issues. He concluded by saying that Erdogan's statements is a display that Turkey is determined to follow a policy that will protect the rights of the Turkish Cypriots.

    Mehmet Cakici, leader of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), said that Erdogan's statement "we will not give Morphou and Varosha" is incoherent with Eroglu's statement in Geneva "we are ready to discuss the territory issue".

    Evaluating Erdogan's statements as "statements towards raising the bargaining margin", Cakici said that at this moment there is an international crisis and the negotiations have come to a deadlock. He suggested that they should make openings that will lift this crisis.

    Cakici reiterated the view that it is impossible to freeze the relations between Turkey-EU.

    [09] Bozer with Turkish parliamentarians

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (20.07.11) reports that self-styled speaker of the assembly Hasan Bozer met yesterday with a delegation of Turkey's Parliament consisting of the Deputy Chairman of the Turkish Parliament Mustafa Kabakci, the Secretary Tanju Ozcan and the AKP MP Mehmet Muezzinoglu.

    During the meeting, Bozer reiterated that the Turkish Cypriots continue their struggle for peace and solution, adding that as long as Turkey is strong, as much the "TRNC" will be strong.

    Kabakci, for his part, said that the "injustices" against the Turkish Cypriots were occurred in front of the eyes of the world, claiming that the events were clear, the Turkish Armed Forces did not come to the island for nothing.

    Referring to the ongoing Cyprus talks, Kabaksi said: "We are heading for a final solution, we are in favour of unity and solidarity, we are at the negotiation table as equal. Do not think that some other forces will grasp the rights of the Turkish Cypriots". He also said that Turkey will never abandon its commitments.


    [B] TURKISH PRES

    Main issue in today's Turkish press is the visit of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the occupied area for the "celebration" on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus, his contacts in the occupied area and the various statements he made. Other issues highlighted about Cyprus is the meeting of the two leaders in Cyprus yesterday within the framework of the ongoing Cyprus negotiation talks, statements by Eroglu to illegal BRT, the message sent by the Chief of the Turkish General Staff to Eroglu for the 20th of July and other. About Turkey, main issue in today's Turkish press is Cicek's meeting with the US Ambassador in Ankara, Francis Ricciardone.

    [10] Statements by Erdogan prior to his departure for the occupied area; He reiterates the threat to freeze Turkish-EU relations if Cyprus holds the 2012 EU presidency

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 19.07.11) reported on statements by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who said on Tuesday that the Turkish Government was endeavouring to remove the "unjust blockade on the TRNC". Erdogan was speaking to reporters at Ankara's Esenboga Airport, prior to his departure to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, to attend the celebrations of the breakaway regime on the occasion of the 37th anniversary of the July 20 Turkish invasion to Cyprus.

    Addressing the reporters, Erdogan said: "If a common future is envisaged between the Turkish and Greek Cypriots, it is not possible to build this future by imposing blockade on Turkish Cypriots unjustly." Erdogan said that this was his first "formal visit abroad" as the Prime Minister of the 61st Government.

    Erdogan said that "the peace operation [Tr. Note: the Turkish invasion in Cyprus], which the Turkish Armed Forces launched in 1974 under its rights and obligations stemming from international agreements, guaranteed presence, security, rights and freedom of the Turkish Cypriots and brought peace, democracy and stability to Cyprus and East Mediterranean."

    In his statements, Erdogan said he would meet with Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, the self-styled parliament speaker Hasan Bozer, and the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk as well as high-ranking "officials" and leaders of political parties.

    "We expect the result of the talks to become definite in the next few months in the comprehensive talks that have been continuing for three years. As you all know, the Turkish party did what was necessary to achieve a fair, lasting and comprehensive solution. It is still displaying a stance favouring solution. There is no difference of opinion between Turkey and TRNC. The Turkish Government will continue to support sincere and constructive efforts of the Turkish Cypriot party under the leadership of Mr Eroglu," Erdogan said. He added that the Greek Cypriot people should also take steps to achieve peace.

    Erdogan also said that he would attend the openings of various investment projects during his visit, underlining that, "we are resolved to take every kind of measures to ensure tranquillity and prosperity of the Turkish Cypriot people. We will continue to stand by our Turkish Cypriot brothers as it happened in the past. We will never leave the Turkish Cypriot people alone in their rightful cause."

    Furthermore, as AA reported replying to a question on the upcoming Greek Cypriot rotating presidency of the EU, Erdogan said: "If the Greek Cypriot side is given the rotating presidency of the EU, we will never recognize this party and we will never sit at a table or hold talks with them," he said. He also said that Turkey would never hold talks with the Greek Cypriot party, as it did not recognize such an administration, adding that offering such a thing to Turkey was a very wrong move. "We do not care what the EU thinks. The Union should have thought about this issue while accepting the Greek Cypriot party's membership," he said.

    The Prime Minister also said there was no separate "Cyprus state" in the island at the moment, adding that there was the "Turkish state in the north" and that Greek Cypriots existed only in the south. "Nobody should try to deceive the world. They should not attempt to deceive us either," he said.

    In addition, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (19.07.11) reports on Erdogan's statements and writes that according to Erdogan, EU-candidate Turkey would not accept Cyprus in the post of the rotating EU presidency, which it is due to assume in July 2012, without a deal to end the island's division. The paper notes that Erdogan reiterated his threat to freeze relations with the European Union if Greek Cyprus holds the bloc's rotating presidency in 2012, saying the European Union has not been acting honestly toward Turkey. "This is our final approach? How can we sit at the negotiating table with a Greek Cypriot administration that we do not recognize?" Erdogan told reporters at the airport in Ankara.

    Asked about Turkey's backup plan in the event that a divided Cyprus assumes the EU presidency, he said: "The plan is already working right now. It is not time to talk about a Plan B or C. The plan will be implemented when the right time comes, instead of being talked about."

    Calling for a solution before "the window of opportunity is closed," Erdogan said such a solution would not only affect the parties concerned on the island, but would also contribute to global peace. "We are ready to cooperate with Greece, with and the United Kingdom on this issue. The Greek Cypriots should take courageous steps for peace," Erdogan said.

    [11] Bagis urges the European Commission to encourage parties in Cyprus for a solution

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.07.11) reported that Turkey's European Union (EU) Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, said on Tuesday that the European Commission should encourage parties in Cyprus for a settlement. Bagis said that what was important was the Commission encouraging parties in Cyprus to reach a settlement.

    Speaking during a meeting with the European Commission's Director General for Enlargement Stefano Sannino, in Ankara, Bagis said: "Ensuring a lasting, fair and comprehensive solution in Cyprus is the requirement of Turkey's and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's policy to be one step ahead (than other concerning parties) since 2002." Bagis said Turkey was a thousand steps ahead today, not just only one-step, and expressed his expectation that the international community should encourage the "Greek Cypriot administration" [Tr. Note: the Cyprus Government] to give up its spoiled child position, and fulfil the requirements of being a genuine state and back a settlement.

    Bagis also said that Premier Erdogan would give significant messages in the occupied area of Cyprus later on Tuesday and Wednesday.

    Also speaking in the meeting, Sannino said he aimed to boost relations between Turkey and the EU.

    This is Sannino's first visit to Turkey after he took over the post from Michael Leigh.

    [12] Babacan: Is impossible for Turkey to maintain its EU relations when an unrecognised country holds the rotating presidency

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.07.11) reported on statements by Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, who said on Tuesday that it was impossible for Turkey to go on with its relations with the European Union (EU) when a country, which it was not recognizing, was holding the rotating presidency. Babacan said Turkey does not recognize the "Greek Cypriot administration" [Tr. Note: the Government of Cyprus], and it was not possible to continue relations with the Union when such a country will preside the Union.

    Speaking to reporters after a meeting with Umit Boyner, president of the Turkish Industrialists' and Businessmen's Association (TUSIAD), Babacan said: "What the Foreign Minister (Ahmet Davutoglu) meant was not totally closing the doors but he said relations would be frozen." Babacan said the presidency of the EU rotated among member states for six months of period, and the "Greek Cypriot administration" is a formation which Turkey does not recognize and with which Turkey has no diplomatic relations. "Therefore, it is naturally impossible for us to go on our relations as if it was a regular EU president or as if a country we recognize was in charge," Babacan said.

    Babacan said it would be beneficial to perceive this freezing process as a six-month deep-freezing and resumption at the end of the six months. "These six months will be a loss for everyone, and we hope we can see a comprehensive settlement path in Cyprus before they (the Greek Cypriots) take over the rotating presidency," he said. Babacan said Turkey's aim was the settlement of the Cyprus problem, and Turkey would continue to work for a solution from now on, as it had so far done.

    The Minister said that the EU membership bid was important for Turkey's domestic reforms, however, the EU should also be careful about its relations and should keep its relations with Turkey at a level Turkey deserved. "We maintain our reforms, and we are aware of what to do whether we become an EU member or not," Babacan said. He added that there were not so many economic things left for Turkey to learn from the Union, on the contrary, some EU members are trying to learn Turkey's steps and initiatives. "But, EU is still important for us regarding political reforms, democratization, fundamental rights and freedoms, judicial reform and rule of law," he said.

    Babacan said the process was going on although very slowly, however the EU was not sine qua non for Turkey. The Minister, inter alia, said it would be beneficial to keep the membership target and walk towards the EU membership, and problems could be overcome if the EU looked at Turkey with more self-confidence.

    [13] How the Turkish press covered Erdogan's visit to the occupied area

    All Turkish dailies cover today Prime Minister's Erdogan visit to the occupied area for the 37th anniversary of the Turkish invasion in Cyprus. Following are the front page titles of the papers:

    Cumhuriyet: "He spoke like Rauf Denktas". The paper writes in its headline that Serdar Denktas, has stated that Erdogan sent messages on the line his father was following for years now. Evaluating Erdogan's visit to Cyprus, Denktas said: "He speaks like Rauf Denktas. They realized that the uncompromised side in the island is the Greek Cypriot side. I hope that the change in the stance of the AKP Government is not a tactic out of necessity. If it is like this, this process might turn against the "TRNC" and Turkey.

    Sabah: "Cyprus is our duty for the future generation". The paper writes that Erdogan who went to the "TRNC" assured the Turkish Cypriots that Turkey will be by the side of the their Turkish brothers in any circumstance.

    Hurriyet: "We are by your side under all circumstances". The paper writes that Erdogan speaking to Esenboga airport prior to his visit to the "TRNC", on the one hand reiterated his message for conciliation and on the other, made a warning: "We owe to the next generations a settlement in Cyprus".

    (AK)

    [14] "New Cyprus strategy"

    Turkish daily Milliyet (20.07.11-online) publishes a commentary by Sami Kohen under the title: "New Cyprus strategy". Following is the commentary:

    "The statements made by Prime Minister Erdogan to a group of Turkish Cypriot journalists prior to his visit to the TRNC, updated the conditions as regards the solution of the Cyprus problem and showed that Ankara's stance towards the solution has hardened.

    In the light of Prime Minister's words, let's recall what are the new conditions or the new parameters:

    With the turning over of the EU term presidency to the Greek Cypriot administration on 2012, the ties with the EU will be frozen. Turkey cannot negotiate with the Greek Cypriots?

    The Turkish troops will not withdraw from Cyprus. Conditions have changed. This should be discussed again?

    How nice it would be if the Greek Cypriot side would accept for the solution a new structure of two states with equal status. Otherwise, they know?

    If no solution is found by the end of the year, the Turkish side (In the context of the recognition of the TRNC) will look for alternatives?

    Also, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has announced last week Ankara's new position towards the Cyprus negotiation talks and said that this process should be certainly completed by the end of the year, stressing the need for a referendum to take place by the beginning of 2012.

    The Minister has stated that in case that no result would come up during this period, Turkey will freeze its ties with the EU in the period of the Greek Cypriot presidency of the EU.

    This is a tactic which is implemented by the Turkish diplomacy in order to push the Greek Cypriot side for a compromise and to exert pressure on the EU as well. Also beyond Prime Minister's statements, the elements of the new strategy to be followed are also included. For example, on the issues being set to the table so far "as regards the territory issue", the standards are marked high and a more perpendicular stance is followed. It is thus stressed that, no concessions are to be made in any place like Morfou, Maras[ Varoshia] and Karpassia.

    There are some reasons that are behind this appearing hardening stance by Ankara:

    The first one is that the Turkish side has been fed up with the delay tactics which are followed by the Christofias administration. Ankara is now putting forward a timetable and warns that everyone will follow its own way if no solution is found in this process.

    The economic collapse in Greece interferes also in politics. Especially, after the recent ammunition blast in south Cyprus, the Government is shaken, the one resignation follows the other and finally the resignation of Christofias is asked. Meanwhile, the Greek Cypriot side is forced to buy electricity from the TRNC?On the contrary; Turkey is in a period of political stability and economic growth. With Erdogan's expression "that this mastery period will reflect Cyprus", self-confidence is put forward.

    There are also important incidents in the Eastern Mediterranean region that could change the strategic balances. Turkey, as far as it is responsible for the security of the Turkish Cypriots takes into consideration the geopolitical value of the island and considers among its vital interests the protection of its population here?

    How this new stance of Ankara will reflect the Cyprus negotiation talks?

    It is obvious that the new situation will drive the Greek Cypriot side to the corner. The next few months will be really very decisive. If no solution is found within this period, the negotiation process will be a thing of the past.

    Prime Minister's speech gives the message to the Greek Cypriot side that "if you are not uncompromised, you will take also the places that are discussed at the table. Can Christofias well read this?"

    (AK)

    [15] "Erdogan's 'reset' for Cyprus"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (18.07.11) publishes the following commentary by its columnist Yavuz Baydar:

    "If it were up to Archbishop Chryssostomos II, '[He'd] rather get by with a lantern and a flashlight'. Such was the reaction of the head of the church to reports that the Turkish north of Cyprus [Tr. Note: the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus] would supply some power to the Greek south, after a huge explosion at a naval base destroyed a major power plant there.

    His words are a key to understanding the chronic state of mind in Cyprus, even of those who have dedicated their existence to serving humanity with love and empathy. In the heat of summer, the offer of electricity can only be seen as a humanitarian gesture to hospitals, nursing homes, etc. But this kind of obstinacy would chase it all away.

    Politically, as well as mentally, Cyprus is in a state of deadlock. This has become increasingly worse since the island became an EU member with its major, gangrenous conflict unresolved, leaving it with only a role as a bargaining chip and a vicious tool to suppress one part of the island's population and impose demands and cunning tactics on Turkey.

    'As long as I am the Prime Minister of Turkey, no more goodwill will be recorded in my notebook', said Recep Tayyip Erdogan, before his visit to the northern side of the island on Tuesday. 'We have displayed enough goodwill toward Cyprus. If reciprocal good deeds are done, we will respond accordingly'.

    Furthermore, he told Turkish Cypriot journalists that no concessions are to be expected from Ankara, that no troop pull-out is on the agenda, that Greek Cyprus should never expect that 'the north will one day belong to them', that now is the time for negotiating a two-state solution based on equality, and that ports will have to be opened in both the northern and southern parts of the island simultaneously.

    This is the harshest statement on Cyprus he has made since he took office as Prime Minister. It marks a radical shift of language, since Erdogan was known among the international community for his emphatic pro-solution approach in 2004, when he took the risky initiative to support pro-unification candidate Mehmet Ali Talat instead of the hard-liner Rauf Denktas (a move that almost cost him a putsch in Ankara). It should be noted that, despite counter-propaganda, he has displayed a patient stance since the Greek Cypriot rejection of the Annan plan.

    Is this a paradigm shift? Erdogan's patience has run out before the prospect that Greek Cypriot leadership under Demetris Christofias will continue the policy of delay regarding negotiations and stubbornly attempt to pull the carpet from underneath the UN.

    Turkey's EU accession process is unique in the sense that here we have a state which, despite its ongoing reform process, is viewed by one EU member as a sworn enemy and by a couple of other member Governments in an unfriendly light. The 'enemy' has mobilized its entire political machinery to impose its will on a negotiating partner. This happens while the UN desperately and inefficiently tries to keep the leaders of both communities --in goodwill-- on common ground. The situation is unsustainable as long as the UN keeps the process on one track, and the EU --led by the enemy state and its discreet allies-- pushes it in the opposite direction. The methodology must change.

    Erdogan has also some nuances. He is careful to note that Turkey's EU admission process will be a long one, and that if no progress is seen before the Republic of Cyprus assumes the EU presidency in July of next year, Turkish-EU relations will be frozen for 'six months'. Erdogan's warning to the EU is to a large extent justified. He is implying this: His Government is determined to pursue EU reforms in the course of seeking EU admission, but we cannot go any further working with an 'enemy' state which has done nothing positive to ease the talks on Cyprus, nor can we work with the intolerance of some unfriendly members, such as Austria, France and Germany. He may be signalling a new era, which Cem Kozlu, a liberal businessman, dubs 'aggressive reciprocity', meaning distinguishing friends from foes, and treating the latter with what can be called 'symmetrical non-productive approaches'. He seems to be calling for honesty and (if there is 'goodwill') solution-oriented flexibility from the EU."

    [16] "Cyprus is very hot"

    Under the above title, Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (18.07.11) publishes the following commentary by its columnist Yusuf Kanli:

    "Cyprus is very hot nowadays. Not only climate-wise, a fact that no one can manage to ignore even if he or she stays in an air-conditioned place all day --but also politically. The southern Greek Cypriot side is particularly hot politically as a result of a naval base blast caused by the climatic heat. The blast, which devastated the naval base as well as a nearby key power station, is estimated to have cost the Greek Cypriot economy up to 2.5 billion euros, excluding 'collateral' damage on the vital tourism industry that has already started trying to compensate for the long, daily power cuts hours by running costly generators. Most of them were bought over the past few days from the north, which after many years of a similarly tragic energy shortage, now has a power station and indeed has some excess power to sell to its neighbours --a first-ever development in the island's history that [Tr. Note: self-styled] foreign minister Huseyin Ozgurgun summarized in a talk with this writer with the June election campaign slogan of Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP): 'It was a dream, now it became a reality'.

    It was of course something pleasing for people wishing to see any sort of rapprochement between the two peoples of the divided eastern Mediterranean island that the north [Tr. Note: the breakaway regime in occupied Cyprus] has started selling electricity to the south. But, for some antagonists, including the powerful Greek Cypriot church, the sense is that if the Demetris Christofias administration were an honest and proud Government, it would not even accept a glass of water from the Turks. Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are talking nowadays about converting a deepwater pipeline slated to be completed by March 2014 into a twin pipeline to double the capacity and offer some fresh water to the Greek Cypriots as well.

    Not just as a remedy for the perennial water shortages on the island, Christofias may as well need water in the days ahead to put off a political fire produced by the naval base blast that has already forced the Defence and Foreign Ministers out of the Cabinet. The coalition is in tatters and there are talks of replacing the existing three-way coalition with a grand national coalition, which it is believed might be helpful for the EU term presidency of the island that will start in July next year. The first problem is, under whose presidency? Shall Christofias continue, or should he step down?

    A top political pundit who has been one of the prominent players of the Greek Cypriot political game for a long time, told this writer that while Christofias has no probability of re-election in the scheduled February 2013 presidential elections, and though he has already become a 'walking political corpse', he will survive the current crisis.

    But he was also concerned about the outcome of the probe on the blast and the exploded weapons --which were bound for Syria but were confiscated and stored at the base for the past three years-- and alleged secret bargains over those weapons and explosives between Christofias and the Bashar al-Assad regime of Syria. Were there some dirty arms? Why was the blast so strong? Why was the ammunition stored under the open Mediterranean sun? Why was the newly resigned Foreign Minister Marcos 'Sphinx' Kyprianou the last western official to meet Assad?

    The north, in the meantime, has started hosting Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who for a change decided to mend fences with the Turkish Cypriot people, who he accused just a while ago of being 'ungrateful dependents'. On his first day in Cyprus, Erdogan met yesterday with the opposition leaders, while some leftist opponents booed outside in protest of his visit. Today he will be attending the 37th anniversary celebrations of the Turkish intervention and inaugurate six facilities constructed with Turkish assistance. Enough? No, before arriving in Cyprus, Erdogan received a group of the Turkish Cypriot journalists and joked with them that the Turkish Cypriots should have at least four kids, or should not complain of population coming from mainland Turkey. A bad one, but still that was a joke. But he was not joking at all when he said that the return of Morphou town to Greek Cypriots was no longer on the cards.

    Meanwhile, on the return of the deserted Varosha suburb of [Tr. Note: occupied] Famagusta, Erdogan said the bargain was over and that the Turkish Cypriots would not go an inch further in talks on territory. Was there hope for a resolution this year? Turkey and Turkish Cypriots say, 'Yes indeed', while Greek Cypriots say, 'They must be joking? They are bluffing?'

    Cyprus is very hot nowadays?" TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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