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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-07-25

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 <>



  • [01] Erdogan evaluates his visit in the occupied area
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot side to continue providing electricity to the Government of Cyprus
  • [03] Kucuk on the latest developments
  • [04] Kucuk describes "police's" extensive force as justified measures
  • [05] CTP, TDP and DP established the "Communal Existence and Solidarity Movement"; Reactions to the "police" violence continue
  • [06] DP assesses Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] Avci assesses Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus; ORP's congress to be held on 17 March 2012
  • [08] KTTO asks from Erdogan to speed up procedures for Turks to buy more than one house in the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [09] "The state of 'Cyprus' existed!"
  • [10] CHP official opposes Erdogan's remarks on Turkish-EU relations; He backs Erdogan's support for a solution in Cyprus based on equality
  • [11] Turkish academician: "Cyprus is heading toward separation"
  • [12] Turkish professor on the Cyprus problem: "I am afraid we are moving rather fast toward separation"
  • [13] "How to bluff one's way out of Cyprus"
  • [14] "Scorching days in Cyprus"
  • [15] "Turkey increases pressure for a solution in Cyprus"
  • [16] Turkish FM assigns new Ambassadors
  • [17] The Turkish Premier to visit Azerbaijan
  • [18] Turkish President Gul to travel to the UK in Novemebr
  • [19] Jordanian PM holds contacts in Turkey
  • [20] Turkish Capital Markets Board signs cooperation agreement with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS Statements by Erdogan on Cyprus after his illegal visit to the occupied area of the island, the mass killing in Norway, the electricity transfer from the occupied to the Government-controlled area of Cyprus, the commencement of the intensified Cyprus talks, the continuation of the reactions to the violence used by the "police" against protesters during Erdogan's visit, assessment on Erdogan's visit by the DP and ORP, statements by Kucuk on the Cyprus problem, and other internal matters are the main issues covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend. Today's Turkish press reports on the opening ceremony for the launch of the 2011 European Youth Olympic Festival, the statement by Israel's Lieberman that his party would not withdraw from the coalition if Israel makes a formal apology for the Gazza flotilla victims. The papers also give broad coverage on the deadly attack in Norway and the sudden death of singer Amy Winehouse. Turkish press on July 23 reports that the ruling Justice and Development Party has taken its first steps to prepare a new Constitution. It is also reported that following the bankruptcy of the illegal Turkish Cyprus Airlines, many airlines began charter flights to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus and, as a result, the number of tourist arrivals increased 10%.

  • [01] Erdogan evaluates his visit in the occupied area Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (23.07.11) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan speaking to Turkish journalists after his visit in "TRNC", evaluated the Cyprus negotiations process and the "TRNC economy". Erdogan said that during the Cyprus negotiations process, he will extend every kind of support necessary to the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu. According to the paper, "Erdogan drew attention to the fact that only the Cyprus Turkish side and Turkey had made proposals towards a solution in Cyprus and no one else." Also, he explained that "currently in south Cyprus a political deadlock was in question", and said "with the current situation in south Cyprus I wonder if the planned 19 meetings will take place". Erdogan also stated that from the guarantor countries, Greece is nowhere to be seen; England has announced that only the Turkish side can bring something to the agenda and that the UN Secretary General does not have a new plan towards a solution and asked: "Christofias is supporting again the Annan Plan or he wants a new plan?" Criticizing the European Union's stance towards the Cyprus issue, the Turkish Premier said that "the European Union is unjustly treating the Turks of Cyprus and is not being sincere towards Turkey". Referring to the "TRNC" economy, Erdogan pointed to the importance of tourism in the development of the economy and added that there are thoughts for the construction of a third airport in occupied Vokolida. He said that in case an airport was built, it would operate as an alternative to Ercan [illegal Tymbou airport] and make possible faster transportation to the occupied Karpassia peninsula. Additionally, he said that the opening of shopping malls which would gather famous brands would assist the growth of the "TRNC" economy, as it would deter shoppers from going to south Cyprus and to attract tourists.
  • [02] Turkish Cypriot side to continue providing electricity to the Government of Cyprus Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.07.11) reports on statements by the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz, regarding the electricity transfer from the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus to the Government-controlled area. Speaking to reporters in the central Anatolian city of Kayseri, Yildiz said that the Turkish Cypriot side will continue providing electricity to the Greek Cypriot side, something that began after a deadly munitions blast on July 11 knocked out a key power station. "On Monday, [Tr. Note: the so-called energy minister Sunat Atun] came to Ankara," Yildiz told the Anatolia news agency. "We discussed this issue thoroughly. For humanitarian reasons and especially in these summer days during which people need air conditioners, we will continue to give this electricity." Yildiz added that the real solution to the problem, is a master plan that encompasses the entire island. "We had mentioned this before. But as we were unable to receive the answer we hoped for, these problems are occurring," the Minister said. "If a request comes [for us] to establish a power plant in southern Cyprus, we will be ready to reply. We are delivering electricity to Georgia, Syria, Greece and Bulgaria. We have told the Greek Cypriot administration [Tr. Note: the Government of Cyprus] that when they need it, in a humanitarian sense, we will deliver the electricity."
  • [03] Kucuk on the latest developments Illegal Bayrak (BRT ? 22.07.11), reported on statement by the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk evaluating the latest developments in Cyprus. Speaking at a program on illegal BRT, Kucuk touched upon the events of 1974 in Cyprus and alleged that "the guarantor power Turkey's timely intervention on the island not only brought peace to the Cyprus Turks but to the entire island". Referring to the illegal visit paid to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, Kucuk said that during the visit the relations between the "TRNC" and Turkey were strengthened. On the Cyprus negotiations process, Kucuk said that the negotiations process is continuing for over three years and noted that "as a person who has seen the minutes, little progress has been achieved on core issues". He concluded by claiming that "the Cyprus Turks' rights will be usurped once again, if south Cyprus takes over the EU term presidency before a solution is found to the Cyprus problem".
  • [04] Kucuk describes "police's" extensive force as justified measures Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes reports that the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk issued a written statement regarding the recent protests for the visit of Recep Tayip Erdogan and the measures taken by the "police" against protesters. In his statement, Kucuk supported that actions and "ugly" slogans against Turkey's Prime Minister by a group of protesters were unacceptable. He described the measures taken by the "police" as successful and effective since they did not expand the events. The statement said inter alia: "No one should expect that our police force would remain silent against ugly protests by a group of people protesting against Turkey's Prime Minister, who was realizing a meaningful and important visit to our island. In these events our police did their duty".
  • [05] CTP, TDP and DP established the "Communal Existence and Solidarity Movement"; Reactions to the "police" violence continue Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (25.07.11) reports that the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) is organizing an activity today in front of the "police" headquarters to condemn the stance of the "police" towards the demonstrators during Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. According to a statement issued by the CTP, after this demonstration, a protest will be held for the same reason in front of the "prime minister's office" by the "Communal Existence and Solidarity Movement', which has been established upon an initiative by TDP with the participation of the CTP, the Democratic Party (DP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP). According to the paper, the basic aim of the Movement is to act jointly against the activities of the National Unity Party (UBP) so-called government. Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.07.11) reports that the Cypriot Youth Platform (KGP), established by Turkish Cypriot students abroad, reacted to the violence used against the demonstrators during Prime Minister Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus. In a written statement, the Platform said that nothing will be the same anymore and called on everyone to get into action. It also argued that democracy and the freedom of thought were disregarded with such behaviour against the demonstrators. (I/Ts.)
  • [06] DP assesses Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (24.07.11) reports that the Democratic Party (DP) in a statement has said that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus was politically positive from the point of view of the opening of a new page between Turkey and the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. In a written statement issued the day before yesterday by Bengu Sonya, DP's general secretary, the party expresses its support to Erdogan's illegal visit and says it hopes that the flow of information between Turkey and the breakaway regime will be intensified and many issues will be clarified. Sonya noted that during the visit, the "police" have, from time to time, used disproportionate force against demonstrators and added that the DP could not approve such behavior. Sonya asked for the necessary "legal" measures to be taken against those who gave the order for this disproportionate use of force and those who implemented the order. Finally, he described as very offensive some expressions used by demonstrators against Erdogan and said that such expressions should not be used. (I/Ts.)
  • [07] Avci assesses Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus; ORP's congress to be held on 17 March 2012 Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (25.07.11) reports that Turgay Avci, chairman of the Freedom and Reform Party (ORP) has stated that Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's illegal visit to the occupied area of Cyprus has "motivated" his party. In statements to Haberdar, Avci noted that their meeting with Erdogan was extremely important for ORP. "We were extremely satisfied and motivated by the fact that the openings and policies we have put forward during the meeting, both in the internal and the external policy, fully coincide with Ankara", said Avci. Avci noted that the policies of their party regarding the economic measures that should be taken in the occupied area of Cyprus, the growth of the private sector and the sustainability of the "public sector" are accepted and supported by Ankara. He said the fact that the external policy of the ORP is also supported by Erdogan, gives strength to the party. Avci noted that the party has launched a restructuring process and it will hold a congress on 17 March 2012. Avci said that the executive committee of the party convened to evaluate the visit of Erdogan to the occupied area of Cyprus and determined a working plan before the party congress. He noted that a restructuring project will be prepared with the aim of contributing to the restructuring of the occupied area of Cyprus and of making ORP more active within the forthcoming period. Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (25.07.11), the reason for the restructuring of the ORP is the establishment of the Democracy and Trust Party (DGP) by Tahsin Ertugruloglu. The aim of the restructuring is to prevent Ertugruloglu's party from being organized, argues the paper noting that questions were raised by Erdogan's statement before coming to Cyprus that a new right-wing party would be beneficial for the occupied area of the island. ORP worries that it would stop being the favourite party of the AKP in Cyprus, claims Yeni Duzen. (I/Ts.)
  • [08] KTTO asks from Erdogan to speed up procedures for Turks to buy more than one house in the occupied area of Cyprus Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (25.07.11) discloses the report submitted by the Turkish Cypriot Chamber of Commerce (KTTO) to the Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan during his illegal visit to the island regarding the economic problems that exist in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. KTTO asked for policies which will pave the way of the private sector and demanded the opening of the Turkish market to the products of the Turkish Cypriots. The report pointed out that the big "public sector" is one of their most serious problems and asked for the invitation of tenders in the occupied area of Cyprus for projects that concern the occupied area of the island. The report also said that the citizens of the Republic of Turkey should be allowed to buy more than one house in the occupied area of Cyprus and the procedures for the purchase of houses by Turkish citizens should be speeded up. The KTTO noted that privatization in the occupied area of Cyprus should be carried out according to a specific program, that any kind of necessary information and documents should be made public in time and that priority in this privatization should be given to Turkish Cypriot capital. (I/Ts.)
  • [09] "The state of 'Cyprus' existed!" Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (25.07.11) reports that the 11th European Youth Olympic Festival (EYOF) is hosted in Trabzon by Turkey. The paper notes that Turkey's Prime Minister, who during his illegal visit in the occupied area of Cyprus stated that "there is no state named Cyprus," attended the opening ceremony. During the ceremony, young athletes from the 49 participating countries entered the stadium, including Cyprus. The paper notes that EYOF 2011, which are organized by the European Olympic Committee are the first games of Olympic level that Turkey organizes and writes that once again the games revealed the international reality that "TRNC" is a "state" recognized only by Turkey, since is not participating in the games but the Republic of Cyprus does. Additionally, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.07.11) reports that the so-called minister of national education, youth and sports Kemal Durust is currently in Turkey for the EYOF 2011. During his visit he also met with the Mayor of Ordu Seyit Torun.
  • [10] CHP official opposes Erdogan's remarks on Turkish-EU relations; He backs Erdogan's support for a solution in Cyprus based on equality Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.07.11) reported on statements by the deputy leader of Turkey's Republican People's Party (CHP) Osman Koruturk, who has said that the Turkish Government's foreign policy lacks principles and isolates the country in the international arena. Speaking to reporters on Friday, Koruturk said that "the [Turkish] Government [often] watches how other countries act on specific international issues and follows their lead while often changing side at any moment". The goal of making Turkey a global actor is "wrong and inadequate," Koruturk said. "You cannot go onto the international field with the claim of being a global actor. We must solve the problems at home first," he said, accusing the Government of steering according to the direction of the wind. "With such policies, Turkey cannot be an actor but merely a figurehead," he added. The CHP official chastised Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoan for his frequent telephone conversations with U.S. President Barack Obama, saying foreign policy was being pursued upon instructions from the U.S. leader. Referring, inter alia, to the Turkish-European Union relations, Koruturk said what was important was not to establish an EU Ministry but establish the role of that Ministry. Koruturk also criticized Erdogan's threat to suspend ties with the EU if a divided Cyprus assumed the bloc's presidency next year. "It is as if the Government is using this as a pretext to burn bridges with the EU." However, he backed Erdogan's support for a solution in Cyprus based on the sides' equality, saying: "CHP will be a serious follower of this issue and will of course support a solution that meets the expectations of the Turkish Cypriots."
  • [11] Turkish academician: "Cyprus is heading toward separation" Turkish Hurriyet Daily News (22.07.11) publishes an interview by Turkish academician Mensur Akgun by the paper's reporter Barcin Yinanc. The paper reports the following: "Turkey's Government still wants a solution for the divided island of Cyprus but sees there will not be one, says an academic who has long worked for reunification. According to Mensur Akgun, Turkey's Premier wants to give the message that getting 50% of the votes will not make him more flexible. Cyprus is heading toward separation as chances dim for a solution based on reunification, according to academic Akgun, who has been working for nearly a decade with a non-governmental organization that is trying to bridge the gap in the divided island. But separation will be a costly solution, he told the Hurriyet Daily News in a recent interview. Q: How do you compare Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's recent statements on Cyprus with those from his first days in Government back in the 2000s? A: His ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is defending the same principles. With the exception of the statement on the land and the warning that the process cannot continue forever like it has been, there is not much difference. The Government still wants a solution but sees there will not be one. The Greek Cypriots have been dragging their feet on the negotiations. They are expecting to sit at the same table with the Turks in the second half of 2012 when they will hold the EU presidency. Erdoan said this is not going to happen. Actually, he gave a general message to the world and to the Turks as well. Following the [June 12 general] elections, whenever you talked to, for instance Americans or Armenians, there was this expectation that with Erdogan's landslide victory, he could do anything he wants. He can open the border with Armenia, he can reconcile with Israel. People were thinking that without the pressure of public opinion, he would make certain sacrifices. But he dashed those expectations. From now, negotiations will take place on a more realistic ground. Q: But does not the rhetoric on Cyprus seem much harder compared to the AKP's earlier days? A: There was a different environment back then. Prior to the AKP, we were the ones unwilling to sit at the negotiating table. There was an army that was readying to topple the Government in the event of a solution. We had expectations from the EU. But the votes cast during the last elections show the Turkish Cypriots do not harbour any expectations from the EU. With the current economic crisis, the EU is losing its attraction. Erdoan is still supporting a solution but what he says is that this stance will not continue forever. He genuinely supported the process to find a solution, but not a solution at any cost. He wants a fair solution based on equality. This is not wanted by the other side. Opinion polls show that the Greek Cypriots do not want to live together with the Turkish Cypriots. The Greek Cypriot Archbishop said he would rather use candles than electricity from the Turkish side. How can you negotiate with that kind of mentality? Q: But is there a repositioning of the negotiation? A: Some of the parameters are not the same. Take Guzelyurt [Tr. Note: occupied Morphou]. Before the referendums when you talked to people, they were ready to leave Guzelyurt to the Greek Cypriots. And in fact most of the people in Guzelyurt said "yes" during the referendum. But today they have settled there. They have invested there and they do not want to leave. Q: So why has Erdogan now said giving Guzelyurt back was no longer an option? A: He wanted to give messages to the Turkish Cypriots as well. There are three groups that are critical of Turkey's policies. One group believes Turkey will forget about Cyprus once it enters the EU. His statement about Guzelyurt was directed to them, as a message that he will not sell out the Turkish Cypriots for EU membership. The second group believes in reuniting with Greek Cypriots simply by reviving the 1960 agreements. And the third group resists economic reforms. Erdogan called the second group marginal. Q: Are those critical of Turkish policies really marginal? A: Independently of whether they are right or wrong, in terms of numbers, yes, they are. Q: The Turkish Cypriots are concerned that their identity could be swallowed up by Turks from Turkey who have settled on the island. A: There is such a concern, which we should take seriously. No one wants unification with Turkey. Q: Erdogan caused anger when he said Turkey is feeding the Turkish Cypriots. It seems he did not bother to win their hearts following this statement. A: It was a very unfortunate statement. But I believe he won the hearts of the majority on the island by reiterating his commitment to support Turkish Cyprus. Q: Will the Prime Minister's warnings have an impact on the inter-communal talks? A: They shook the negotiation process. Someone had to shake it. The U.N. Secretary-General gave a deadline of until the end of the year but left it vague as to what he would do in the absence of a solution. But with Russia and France in the Security Council, not much should be expected from the U.N. This shake was necessary; it is good that it happened. Q: Do you think the Greek Cypriots will change their stance and stop dragging their feet? A: Greek Cyprus is in the midst of a political crisis, Greece is struggling with economic crisis. There is little chance for a solution. But Turkey said what needed to be said. Avoiding giving that message would have been perceived as giving a blank check to the world that Turkey will continue to negotiate forever. Q: So where is the Cyprus problem heading? A: It is heading toward separation. I have been working for nine years for a solution but it's been a swim against the tide. The lack of solution is not in the interest of Turkey. But if there is no solution, we need to think about other ways. Even some Greek Cypriots have started to search for other methods. But separation will be a costly solution for all. Q: The statement that Turkish-EU relations would be frozen during a Greek Cypriot presidency must have come as music to the ears of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. Are we coming to the point desired by France and Germany by ourselves? A: At the end of the day, this was going to happen anyway. The EU is not a priority for Turkey any longer. This will give the message that Turkey wants membership, but not at any cost. Freezing relations with the EU for six months does not have a high cost for Turkey, since in the absence of a solution, there won't be any negotiation in policy areas. (Talks on certain policy areas, called chapters, are suspended due to Turkey's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot shipping.) But the suspension of relations will have a higher cost for the EU since it needs consultation with Turkey on many foreign-policy areas. Q: Do you think the warning on suspending relations will change the EU's attitude? A: This will only lead them to think a little. Otherwise, they will not change their attitude. The EU has very deep problems to deal with. Q: Some say to Turkey, open your ports to Greek Cyprus and membership talks will get back on track. There is nothing to lose from opening Turkish ports to Greek Cyprus. What do you think of that idea? A: I asked the same question to Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who responded, 'We are not na?ve'. If Turkey opens the ports, they will ask for something else, like withdrawing our soldiers. With each unilateral gesture, the other side thinks it is powerful and can force Turkey to take additional steps. As an activist, I feel we should open the ports due to our commitment to the Customs Union, with the hope that maybe this can change things; but as a political scientist, I see that doing that will not change much."
  • [12] Turkish professor on the Cyprus problem: "I am afraid we are moving rather fast toward separation" Turkish daily Today's Zaman (24.07.11) carries an interview by Mustafa Aydin, a professor of international relations, to the paper's reporter Yonca Poyraz Dogan. In his interview, Aydin referred to Cyprus. Particularly, Aydin, inter alia said: "They [the Greek Cypriots] see the situation as a minority-majority problem on the island and an occupation by Turkey. As long as they see it that way, the only possible solution is ending the 'occupation' and giving the Turks minority rights in a Greek majority state. No consensual, cooperative and peaceful solution will be possible until this stance of the Greek Cypriots changes. But there are other 'solutions'. I'm afraid we're moving rather fast toward separation." As concerns the Cyprus problem, the interview went as follows: "Q: Where is the Cyprus problem going? A: The Prime Minister's recent messages are very strong regarding Cyprus. This shows a certain level of disappointment. This psychology is understandable considering the situation the Turkish Government is in. This is the Government that took risks and changed Turkey's long-held Cyprus policy of deadlock. Prime Minister Erdoan put his political future on the line to do that; but after all the compromises, the Annan plan was rejected by the Greek Cypriots. So the Prime Minister is reacting now and trying to level the playing field, undermining Greek Cypriot policy. Q: Can you elaborate on that idea? A: The Greek Cypriots' strategy is such that they clearly wish to go on with the negotiations on the basis of the Annan plan, but behaving as if the Annan plan is the basis of all talks. Their idea is to start negotiations from the Annan plan compromise, so that they could get additional compromises. However, in order to reach the Annan plan, both Greek and Turkish Cypriots made compromises. The Turkish side compromised because we thought we were going to gain something. However, the Greek Cypriots were rewarded even though they rejected the plan. So, it is not acceptable to start the negotiations from the end point of the Annan plan. If the two sides were to negotiate and exchange compromises, they should start from their earlier positions. This is the position of Prime Minister Erdogan. Secondly, the Greek Cypriots have been playing for time, holding back progress and refusing to accept any timeframes in negotiations with the Turkish side since they will hold the rotating presidency of the EU in 2012 and expect to force Turkey to give in. Prime Minister Erdogan is trying to undermine the policies of the Greek Cypriot administration. Turkey says those tactics will not have an effect in the negotiation process with the EU since accession negotiations have already been frozen, and Turkey can easily suspend relations with the EU for six months during the Greek Cypriot presidency. Q: So what is Turkey saying exactly? A: These are Turkey's messages to the Greek Cypriot side: If you want the transfer of Varosha (Maras), then you have to give something; if you want Turkish ports to be opened to Greek Cypriot shipping, then you have to give something; if you want Turkish troops to leave the island, then you have to give something, too. The time for concessions is over. Turkey will not negotiate from the Annan plan onwards. Q: Will that work? A: I am not sure it will solve the problem, but it will certainly level the playing field, which is important. Prime Minister Erdogan is trying to scale everything back. Q: Will that position solve the Cyprus problem? Isn't this contradictory with what the UN tells the two sides --namely, that they need to be engaged in a serious give and take? A: The Cyprus problem will not be solved until and unless the Greek Cypriot understanding of the situation changes. They see the situation as a minority-majority problem on the island and an occupation by Turkey. As long as they see it that way, the only possible solution is ending the 'occupation' and giving the Turks minority rights in a Greek majority state. No consensual, cooperative and peaceful solution will be possible until this stance of the Greek Cypriots changes. But there are other 'solutions'. I am afraid we are moving rather fast toward separation. If public opinion is important in this case, many people in northern and southern Cyprus have started to support separation more and more. Following the two Cypriot leaders' meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in Geneva a few weeks ago, there was optimism that a deal could be possible. Ban said there will be time limits, and that the UN would stop its involvement in the issue if those limits are not respected; he even threatened with pulling back UN peacekeeping forces from the island. The time limit Ban is talking about is the spring of 2012. In order for the two sides to reach a solution by that time, they need to engage in very intense, goal-oriented negotiations. This is what the Secretary-General is trying to achieve. But if this is not realized, talks will end and the UN might pull out, and we will be back to square one. If that happens, there is no way out but separation, which will not be accepted by the European Union, the United States and the international public in general. It is a difficult situation we are in today. Q: What would you say about the Greek Government's stance? This is all happening at a time when Turkey and Greece are on very good terms. A: Successive Greek Governments were able to develop good relations with Turkey only by side-lining the Cyprus issue; if they did not, they would not have been able to go ahead with their relations with Turkey. If the Greek Government becomes involved in the Cyprus issue, the Greek public will not be so amenable to the development of Turkish-Greek relations; this is a classic catch 22 --we need Greece to be involved in Cyprus to find a solution, but its involvement in Cyprus will hurt its relations with Turkey due to hostile Greek public opinion. Under these circumstances, it would be very naive to expect the Greek Government to put pressure on the Greek Cypriot side. Q: Isn't it going to be a big problem for the EU if the island is split? A: The EU would not accept it. Its member countries would put economic pressure on Turkey. They would stop or suspend negotiations with Turkey, if they want to. There are probably enough European states that would support those types of policies against Turkey. But this is too dangerous even to contemplate right now. It is obvious that the Cyprus issue is set to sail through troubled waters." [Mustafa Ayd1n's profile: Aydin is a professor of international relations. He is the Rector of Istanbul's Kadir Has University as well as the president of the International Relations Council (UIK) of Turkey. He is also co-coordinator of the International Commission on the Black Sea and a member of the Greek-Turkish Forum.]
  • [13] "How to bluff one's way out of Cyprus" Columnist Joost Lagendijk, writing in Turkish daily Today's Zaman (24.07.11), comments on the recent messages firstly by Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu and later by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan that "Turkey wants a deal on the reunification of the island before mid-2012, otherwise, Turkey will freeze its relations with the EU". Lagendijk with the above title, inter alia, writes the following: "(?) I see three main messages in the speeches of Davutoglu and Erdogan. One makes perfect sense, another does not and the last one might have a very special effect. Let's start with the sensible one. After so many years of negotiations that have dragged on without deadline and real commitment, I welcome the target date that the Turkish Government has set, July 2012, using the opportunities offered by the latest efforts of the UN to push both sides into an agreement. This cannot go on forever. All parties involved should make an ultimate attempt to find a solution now. If it does not work, Turkey will walk out of the talks and consider its options. These are, by the way, much more limited than Ankara is willing to acknowledge, but that is another issue. But then we come to the second message: Turkey still wants a deal but is not willing to compromise and refuses to sit down at one table with Greek Cypriot representatives. Excuse me? Do you think anybody will believe Turkey's good intentions if at the same time the country declares it is unwilling to make any concession to make it happen? Besides, why does Turkey not sit down and talk with the Greek Cypriot President while we know it does exactly that with Abdullah ?calan, the imprisoned leader of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK)? Does Turkey's pragmatism stop at the borders? Let's face it: If Turkey is not willing to do its share to build up trust between itself and the Greek Cypriots, there will never be a deal. Finally, let us consider the threat to stop negotiations with the EU, at least temporarily. Who does the Turkish Government want to impress by making this announcement? Friends of Turkey in Europe feel embarrassed after so much misguided Turkish diplomatic doggedness. Opponents of Turkey's EU membership in Paris, Berlin and Nicosia, on the other hand, are cheering. Single handled Turkey has raised the rewards for all European obstructionists. Suppose there is a Cyprus deal early next year. That will be put to a vote in a referendum in both Cypriot communities. By voting "No" on a possible solution, every Greek Cypriot hard-liner can kill two birds with one stone: no concessions to the Turkish Cypriots and a perfect chance to derail Turkey's EU accession process. Do Erdogan and Davutoglu really think that Paris and Berlin will not try to use the opportunity they are being offered now on a golden plate and bury the negotiations in the freezer for ever? Or is that the perfidious outcome of the Cyprus game that Ankara really wants?"
  • [14] "Scorching days in Cyprus" Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (24.07.11) publishes an article by its columnist Amanda Paul on the recent remarks of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan during his illegal visit to occupied Cyprus. According to Paul, Erdogan certainly "put the cat among the pigeons" during his trip in the occupied area. In her article, Paul writes the following: "While I believe everybody was aware that he was going to make a tough statement over the decades-old Cyprus problem and the lack of progress in talks, nobody imagined he would demonstrate such a tough and rather provocative stance. Perhaps the Prime Minister was venting some built-up tension concerning other issues he is presently dealing with, both domestically and in foreign policy, and just decided to take it out on Cyprus. In any case, for me, a number of his comments were quite shocking and seemed to serve no useful purpose whatsoever, besides not being conducive to peace talks, which are presently at a very crucial stage. Having managed to secure the UN deadline it wanted regarding peace talks, Ankara is now turning up pressure on the Greek Cypriots, who have been holding back progress and refusing to accept any timeframes. While I can understand why he placed such great emphasis on the need for this round of peace talks to deliver --and the consequences of the Cypriot's 2012 EU presidency for Turkey-EU relations if they do not-- I am perplexed by his need to go into detail, which he must have realized could seriously damage the talks. Saying that Turkey was now prepared to offer the Greek Cypriots less than was envisaged in the 2004 Annan plan, undermines the process and at the same time makes it abundantly clear that Turkey is the one deciding --not the Turkish Cypriots. I am at a loss to understand what he hoped to achieve by stating that neither Guzelyurt [occupied Morphou] nor part of Karpaz [occupied Karpassia] would be returned to the Greek Cypriots in an eventual deal or saying that the time for concessions was over and done with. It is obvious to everybody that the Greek Cypriots will not accept a deal that does not include the return of Morphou. Indeed, this also completely contradicts what the UN and others have been telling the two sides --that now is the time to forget about maximalist goals and move to a period of serious give and take. The comments regarding the need for the Turkish Cypriots to have more babies if they did not want more mainland settlers was also uncalled for. Turkish Cypriots are not Turks and one only has to check birth statistics to see that they have no habit of having three or four children per family. The fact that the Turkish Cypriots were 'subjected' to British rule, like the Greek Cypriots, has given them a unique character different from their cousins in Turkey. It may come as a shock to many in Turkey, but some Turkish Cypriots --while they are of course grateful for all of Turkey's assistance?do not actually want to be seen as Turks, even though many in Turkey seem to believe this is almost a privilege. Not surprisingly, the Greek Cypriot media took Erdogan's comments as inflammatory but also ironic, pointing out that Erdogan was in effect supporting a position advocated by many Greek Cypriots and their political parties --including President Demetris Christofias, who promised in his election campaign that the Annan plan would be buried. Well it seems that Erdogan has done that now. Really, I wonder how on earth the two leaders will progress from this point. Furthermore, this all happened at a time when the Cypriot economy is in a state of emergency and Christofias is still under pressure to step down following a munitions explosion. Furthermore, Erdogan also managed to throw a grenade into Turkish-Greek relations, as the Greek Foreign Minister reacted sharply to his comments, saying that a resolution to the Cyprus problem was a precondition to the normalization of Turkey-Greece relations, which the latest International Crisis Group (ICG) report on developments in the Aegean stated was not the case only a day earlier. The international community has not reacted to Erdogan's comments directly. For its part, the EU has appointed a new special envoy, Jos? C?sar das Neves, former Portuguese diplomat currently working as an advisor to the European Commission President. Perhaps they believe he has a magic formula that will save Cyprus, but I somehow doubt it. Following the two Cypriot leaders' meeting with Ban Ki-moon in Geneva only a few weeks ago, there was optimism that a deal could be found. Erdogan's remarks may well have helped pour cold water on that. Indeed, one may sum up many Greek Cypriots' desire to share Cyprus with the Turkish Cypriots in a recent statement from Greek Cypriot Archbishop Chrysostomos, who expressed dismay upon learning that the Turkish Cypriots would supply the south with power to help them deal with the recent electricity shortage. 'I'd rather get by with a lantern and flashlight' than accept help from the Turkish Cypriots, he said."
  • [15] "Turkey increases pressure for a solution in Cyprus" Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 24.07.11), with the above title, publishes, inter alia, the following article: "(?) So what is the reason for Turkey's crystal-clear ultimatum? The aim is naturally not to freeze relations with the EU; on the contrary, it is to provide a solution to the Cyprus issue, to show its determination for its EU goal. Ankara plans to turn the issue into a 'crisis' and put it up for international public opinion. A senior official from the Prime Minister's office, who requested anonymity while speaking with Sunday's Zaman, clarified Turkey's intentions.  Our aim is not to freeze relations with the EU. We are striving to make progress on the road to the EU', the official said as he highlighted the need to set deadlines for the process. 0brahim Kal1n, chief advisor to the Prime Minister, meanwhile, warned that interpreting Erdoan's ultimatum as a sign that  the Government is giving up on the EU' would be wrong and that the intention to solve the Cyprus issue shows how serious it is in its EU bid. As Turkish Cypriots are taking the initiative on one side, attention has been diverted to the political crisis in the Greek Cypriot part on the other. This week's blast at a Greek Cypriot naval base changed the agenda on the island completely and caused a political crisis to erupt when a major power plant was shut down by the explosion. (?) Without doubt, the political crisis on the Greek Cypriot side will influence the future of the extensive negotiations. The outcome of the talks is considered to be relying on developments with the Greek Cypriots. It is not very likely that Christofias, currently between a rock and a hard place, will take the initiative and display a constructive attitude in negotiations. The Greek Cypriots will have to deal with this pressure on top of the economy, with the worst case scenario involving Christofias's resignation, although unlikely. The circle has already tightened around him. Negotiations will also meet a technical dead end if he resigns, since he was the one leading the talks. It is even suspected that the Greek Cypriots may sacrifice Christofias in order to dodge the proposed referendum. It should be stressed that the situation is changing in favour of Turks in terms of power. Despite a global economic crisis, the Turkish economy displayed record growth while the Greek economy went down the drain. The income disparity between the two sides of the island is also closing. (?) A construction project is also in progress to supply drinking water from Turkey to the TRNC [the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus], and it is scheduled to be completed by March 2014. When one considers that the biggest problem for the island is a shortage of drinking water, such a solution is sure to change the parameters. Then again, it is a question how the EU will respond to the ultimatum. There is no reason to be optimistic. It is pretty obvious that the EU has been applying double standards in Turkey's EU membership talks and on the Cyprus issue, while it has failed to keep its promises. Otherwise, they would not have been so indifferent to this unfair situation after the 2004 referendum. Turkey is facing two possibilities now; this will either go for a vote in a new referendum, or it will not. All efforts are for a referendum to take place. Now is not the time to talk about the latter option."
  • [16] Turkish FM assigns new Ambassadors Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.07.11) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has personally called Turkish Ambassadors on Friday night and informed them about their new assignments. According to the decree, Ahmet Riza Demirer of the Caucasus desk was appointed as Ambassador to Gabon while his brother Yunus Demirer of the Iraq desk was appointed as Ambassador to Iraq. Ayse Sezgin, Deputy Undersecretary in charge of the European Union (EU), was appointed as the Ambassador to Austria, replacing Ecvet Tezcan, who according to a statement by the Turkish Foreign Ministry on Monday, has been appointed as the new Representative of Turkey at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Another Deputy Undersecretary in charge of public diplomacy, Selim Yenel, was appointed as Turkey's new EU Permanent Representative. Chief of the Turkish Presidential Cabinet, Huseyin Avni Karslioglu, was appointed as Ambassador to Germany. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Special Envoy for Pakistan Engin Soysal, was appointed as Turkey's Permanent Representative at the Council of Europe. Ismail Hakki Musa was appointed as Ambassador to Belgium, Taner Seben to Singapore, Ali Kemal Aydin to Jordan while Gulhan Ulutekin was appointed as Ambassador to Slovakia. Furthermore, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (24.07.11) reports that Ankara is in the process of establishing four new missions in Africa as part of the implementation of a project to open up more than 15 new embassies in the region. Ambassadors have already been appointed to their posts in Gabon, Namibia, Niger and The Gambia for the first time in Turkey's history. Accordingly, Foreign Minister Davutoglu appointed also Murat Ahmet Yoruk to Namibia, Ali Riza Ozcoskun to The Gambia, Hasan Ulusoy to Niger and Ahmet Riza Demirer to Gabon.
  • [17] The Turkish Premier to visit Azerbaijan Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.07.11) reports that Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will pay a formal visit to Azerbaijan on Wednesday, his second trip abroad since his landslide victory in June 12 parliamentary elections, Erdogan's press office said on Sunday. During his visit, Erdogan is expected to meet with the Azeri President Ilham Aliyev to discuss issues in bilateral relations as well as regional and international developments.
  • [18] Turkish President Gul to travel to the UK in Novemebr Ankara anatolia news agency (22.07.11) reported that Turkey's President Abdullah Gul will pay a visit to Britain next November 22 and 24. President Gul and first lady Hayrunnisa Gul will visit Britain at an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II, the Presidential Press Office said in a statement. The statement said also that the Turkish President and the first lady would be hosted at Buckingham Palace during their visit. "It will be the first formal visit in presidential level from Turkey to Britain since the visit of 7th President of Turkey Kenan Evren, in 1988. Queen Elizabeth II paid a visit to Turkey between May 13-16, 2008, which was a return visit," the statement added.
  • [19] Jordanian PM holds contacts in Turkey Ankara Anatolia news agency (AA ? 24.07.11) reported on the meeting of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan with his Jordanian counterpart Marouf al-Bakhit in Istanbul on Saturday. Speaking at a joint press conference with Erdogan, al-Bakhit said that Turkey and Jordan wanted Palestine to become independent. "We will continue to support our Palestinian brothers and sisters," al-Bakhit said. Expressing happiness for visiting Turkey, al-Bakhit said that they were working to boost relations with Turkey. Touching on the "Arab spring", al-Bakhit said that his country began reforms before the "Arab spring" came into existence. "We have made political, economic and administrative reforms. We have also made reforms to fight corruption," al-Bakhit said. "We expect Mr. Erdogan to visit Jordan soon. Meanwhile, AA reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu also met Jordan's Prime Minister al-Bakhit and Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh in Istanbul on Saturday. The meeting was closed to the press. During the meeting, Davutoglu and the Jordanian officials discussed bilateral economic relations, Iraq, Syria, the Gulf and developments in North Africa. The three officials also discussed the developments in Palestine and Palestine's membership at the United Nations.
  • [20] Turkish Capital Markets Board signs cooperation agreement with U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission Ankara Anatolia news agency (22.07.11) reports that Turkey's Capital Markets Board (SPK) and U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) signed a cooperation agreement in Washington on Thursday. SPK and SEC have been conducting joint studies to boost economic and commercial cooperation between Turkey and the United States and to foster cooperation on topics of "cooperation in capital markets2 and the "Istanbul Finance Centre". SPK and SEC earlier decided to form a formal cooperation mechanism, called "regulative dialogue". SPK President Vedat Akgiray and SEC President Mary Schapiro signed a "job definition document" at SEC headquarters in Washington with this objective. Akgiray held a news conference at the Turkish Embassy in Washington to brief about the agreement and his talks. Akgiray said that the deal with SEC includes three areas, "the first one envisages a training that is given by SEC and SPK experts to capital markets experts in countries neighbouring Turkey. A joint conference will be held in Istanbul in October in which SEC experts will also join." "Secondly, following the global crisis, there have been discussions regarding inadequacy of financial regulation in the world. Structure of a new regulation is under discussion. However, there are many different voices in international organization. With this deal, Turkey and the United States decided to carry out closer cooperation," he said. Akgiray said, "Thirdly, the deal aims at accelerating share of information and intelligence particularly on issues related to crimes." Akgiray said SEC signed this agreement with Turkey after China, India, Japan and Korea and said that "this is an indication of the importance given to Turkey." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION EG/
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