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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-08-29

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. 163/11 27-29.08.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] ?he two leaders in Cyprus began discussion on the Territory issue; Statements by Eroglu after Friday's meeting
  • [02] BKP's Izcan notes that the tension created regarding the natural gas exploration in Cyprus harms the Cyprus problem
  • [03] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister to visit occupied Cyprus
  • [04] Fast breaking dinner in occupied Keryneia with the participation of Muslim clergy from foreign countries
  • [05] Turkey's "Aid Committee" will reportedly spend one million TL for Varosha
  • [06] Turkey issues a decree to return immovable properties of minority foundations
  • [07] Turkish Cypriot columnist comments on the return of minority foundations' properties in Turkey
  • [08] The head of "religious affairs department" accused of intentionally creating tension on Agios Dometios barricade last Friday
  • [09] Basin-Sen elects its new administration
  • [10] "A hot autumn looms ahead for Cyprus"
  • [11] "New military, new Turkey"
  • [12] Davutoglu to attend an informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Poland
  • [13] The Turkish Government seeks harmony with Euro courts
  • [14] BDP allegedly plans to take the parliamentary oath in October

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Statements by Dervis Eroglu after his meeting with President Christofias last Friday within the framework of the Cyprus talks, reactions to the intentional tension created on Friday by the regime when Turkish settlers attempted to cross over to the government-controlled area to visit Hala Sultan Mosque in Larnaka, statements by Izzet Izcan on the Turkish threats on the issue of the exploration for oil and natural gas by the Republic of Cyprus, and other internal matters are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend. The papers refer also to the illegal visit of the Turkish Minister responsible for Cyprus to the occupied area of the island, the Muslim feast of Ramadan which starts tomorrow, and an international fast breaking dinner hosted in occupied Keryneia.

    The Turkish Government's decision to return property taken away from minority foundations 75 years ago as announced by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ahmet Davutoglu's visit to Poland to attend an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers, statements by Turkish President Abdullah Gul that Turkey lost its confidence in the Syrian administration and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by the weekend's and today's Turkish dailies.

    [01] ?he two leaders in Cyprus began discussion on the Territory issue; Statements by Eroglu after Friday's meeting

    According to illegal BRT (28.08.11), the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias met again on Friday, in line with a series of all day meetings that will take place until the tripartite meeting in October. The two leaders began discussing the issue of Territory following last Tuesday's meeting which focused on the chapter of Governance and Power sharing. The leaders will be discussing this chapter for the next three meetings.

    Speaking to reporters after yesterday's meeting, Eroglu said that at the meeting they discussed territorial adjustments.

    He however pointed out that the issue of maps and figures, in line with an agreement reached with the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon was not discussed at the meeting. "We are fully aware of the sensitivity concerning the subject" he said.

    Pointing out that they will continue discussing the issue next week, Eroglu underlined the importance of respecting the principle of secrecy while conducting the negotiations.

    [02] BKP's Izcan notes that the tension created regarding the natural gas exploration in Cyprus harms the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis (28.07.11) reported on statements of Izzet Izcan, general secretary of the United Cyprus Party (UBP), criticizing Turkey's stance and the occupation regime on the exploration activities of natural gas off-shore Cyprus. Issuing a written statement, Izcan, inter alia, stated that because of the exploration activities realised by the Greek Cypriot side, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriot side by escalating the political tension, threatening and nourishing nationalism in both sides, harm the efforts for solution to the Cyprus problem.

    According to Izcan, the natural resources found in Cyprus, belong to the people of Cyprus, noting that the Turkish Cypriots, who are citizens of the Republic of Cyprus, have the right of use of these natural resources. However, he stated, Turkey has no right on the natural resources of the island. He added that it is important to focus on an early solution and immediately, draw away from tensed politics and conquering approaches. Izcan further stated that the problems and the tension experienced rise from the non-solution of the Cyprus problem, emphasizing that a solution should be found very soon. "This is the most necessary for the future of both communities and Cyprus itself," he said.

    Criticizing the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu on his stance during the negotiation process for a solution to the Cyprus problem, Izcan called on him to stay attached to the agreed solution base and the UN parameters; and to stay away from schismatic behaviours.

    [03] Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister to visit occupied Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (27.08.11) reported that according to the newspaper's trusted sources, Besir Atalay, Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister responsible for Cyprus Affairs will visit the occupied area on the 8th of September. The paper notes that his schedule has not yet finalised, however he will attend many meetings and discuss issues related to the "TRNC".

    [04] Fast breaking dinner in occupied Keryneia with the participation of Muslim clergy from foreign countries

    Under the title: "Representatives from 18 countries participated", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.08.11) reports that the administration of Cyprus Evkaf religious foundation and the so-called religious affairs department of the breakaway regime have organized an "International Brotherhood Iftar [Tr. Note: Evening meal during the month of Ramadan, the breaking of the Ramadan fast]" under the slogan: "Religious brothers are meeting in northern Cyprus".

    The dinner took place at Cratos Premium Hotel in occupied Keryneia with the participation of the Ambassador of Iran to Lefkosia Ali Akbar Rezaei, the self-styled ambassador of Turkey in Cyprus Halil Ibrahim Akca, the self-styled speaker of the "assembly" Hasan Bozer, the so-called prime minister Irsen Kucuk and the head of the self-styled religious affairs department of the breakaway regime Talip Atalay. Administrators of religious foundations and Muslim clergy from Turkey, Dubai, Kosovo, Oman, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Morocco, Greece, Bulgaria, Medina, Serbia, FYROM, Iran, Pakistan, Kuwait, Palestine and Gaza attended the dinner.

    In statements during the dinner, Kucuk said that the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus, hosted such an international "iftar" for the first time. Noting that this is a beginning, Kucuk expressed the belief that in the forthcoming years they will host more Islamic countries in this activity which started with 17 countries this year. Pointing out to the importance of Evkaf religious foundation in Cyprus, Kucuk alleged that Evkaf lost many of its possibilities and lands during the British Colonial Rule on the island and underlined the importance of strengthening Evkaf.

    Kucuk said that this kind of contacts should continue and the cooperation between the Islamic countries in the fields of sports, culture and tourism should be intensified. Referring to the charter flights which started between the occupied area of Cyprus and Iran, Kucuk thanked the Iranian Government.

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Turkey's "Aid Committee" will reportedly spend one million TL for Varosha

    Under the title: "One million for Varosha", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (29.08.11) reports that one part of the funds to be granted by Turkey's "Aid Committee" to the "municipalities" in the occupied area of Cyprus will be spent for the "dead city", as Kibris describes the occupied fenced city of Varosha. The paper writes that the "municipalities" will be granted 16 million 750 thousand Turkish liras (TL) in 2011. One million TL will be spent on the project of replacing the water-pipe system within the occupied fenced city of Varosha.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Turkey issues a decree to return immovable properties of minority foundations

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.08.11) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Government has issued a decree to return immovable properties belonging to minority foundations in Turkey.

    The decree was published in the Official Gazette on Saturday to return all immovable properties belonging to the minority foundations as declared back in 1936 including their cemeteries and foundations.

    Minority foundations and their rights are protected by the 1924 Lausanne Treaty. However, minority foundations have lost their rights on their immovables in years as some of them have failed to be registered officially and other properties were sold to third parties.

    Minority foundations are obliged to make an official appeal within 12 months to reclaim their immovable's.

    Turkey has been found guilty in a number of cases at the European Court of Human Rights, which sentenced the country to pay compensation to minority foundations for failing to register their immovable's.

    [07] Turkish Cypriot columnist comments on the return of minority foundations' properties in Turkey

    Under the title: "The historic gesture and Cyprus", Resat Akar, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper's editor-in-chief, comments in his column today (29.08.11) on the decision of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan to return to their owners immovable properties that belong to minorities in Turkey. Akar writes, inter alia, the following:

    "?Everyone should 'assess very well' this historic decision of the Turkish Government. Immovable properties are returned to their rightful owners even though 75 years passed. Moreover, the rights of compensation of those who obtained this right 'with delay' continue to exist. We all know that a similar situation will definitely be experienced in Cyprus one day, even though this might not happen soon. I have written tens of articles warning the officials of the TRNC and Turkey on the 'property issue'?

    The property right could not be usurped in any way. The international law gives to no one such a right even in situations created after a war. You cannot say 'what shall we do, we are looting the properties of the Greek Cypriots because they said no to the Annan Plan'.

    As a journalist who found and revealed the 'historic report' which the then Attorney General Oktay Feridun and the President of the High Court Necati Munir Ertekun prepared after the Peace Operation [Tr. Note: The 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus], I want to recall once more some elements included in this report. The President of the High Court and the Attorney General, in brief gave the following advice to the Transitional Turkish Administration, that is, their own administration: 'If you are forced to use the properties, schools and churches remained from the Greek Cypriots, you must open a special account in any bank and deposit the rent for this...'

    The warning that 'title deeds could not be given' was clearly included in the report?"

    Akar notes that the regime took into consideration this warning for a period of time, but afterwards started distributing "title deeds" for the occupied Greek Cypriot properties. "The days when the rights of the Greek Cypriots, the Maronites and the Armenians will be returned will come in Cyprus", notes Akar adding that the Greek Cypriot side should also pay compensation for the Turkish Cypriot properties in the government-controlled area of Cyprus which have been turned into airports, electricity power plants and dams, and for the houses that have been demolished.

    "The property right is sacred and could not be abolished under any circumstances", he concludes.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] The head of "religious affairs department" accused of intentionally creating tension on Agios Dometios barricade last Friday

    Under the title: "Openly a provocation", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika newspaper (28.08.11) accused Talip Atalay, the head of the so-called religious affairs department of the occupation regime, of intentionally sending a number of settlers to cross to the free areas to attend religious prayers at the Hala Sultan Tekke in Larnaka, on Friday afternoon, despite knowing that they would not get permission to cross. The settlers, who gathered at the Agios Dometios barricade, were on their way to attend religious prayers at the Hala Sultan Tekke on the occasion of Kadir Night (the Night of Power).

    Afrika wrote that the Turkish Cypriot "policemen" at the barricade became an instrument to Atalay's provocation since they led the settlers to pass, despite also knowing that the settlers would not get permission to cross to go to Hala Sultan Tekke.

    Commenting on the issue, Tahir Gokcebel, chairman of the Cyprus Turkish Secondary Education Teachers' Union (KTOEOS) stated that innocent persons who had no idea that they would not be allowed to cross were taken advantage of and used as political instruments.

    On his part, Abdullah Korkmazhan, the organizational secretary of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), asked for the removal of Atalay from his position.

    In addition, Star Kibris (29.08.11) publishes statements of Atalay, who speaking at the ADA TV accused the Republic of Cyprus of preventing the settlers to cross to the free areas. According to the head of the so-called religious affairs department, the persons were aware that they would not be allowed to cross. However, he personally waited for a "gesture" on the issue, since he shared a lot of things recently with Archbishop Chrysostomos II, as he said.

    He also stated that the main reason that the prayers were not able to cross was that it emerged that three of the four buses hadn't any insurance or the necessary paper work to be able to cross over.

    He went on and added that he is very sorry that their people which were fasting had to go through this and added: "According to the Greek Cypriots, the free region is on the south, the so-called occupied region is on the north. However, they accept no one in the free area while everybody comes freely in the occupied area. Where is justice in this?" he claimed.

    [09] Basin-Sen elects its new administration

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (28.08.11) reported that on Saturday, the Press Labourers Trade Union (Basin-Sen) convened for its 18th Regular General Assembly. As the paper reports, during the election for Basin-Sen's new administration, 135 members casted their votes and winner of the election was the union's chairman Kemal Darbaz. Accordingly, the new administration is as follows: Kemal Darbaz (82 votes), Canan Onurer (82 votes), Huseyin Yalyali (75 votes), Ilke Davulcu (73 votes), Pelin Sahin (70 votes), Ali Kurtoglu (70 votes) and Meltem Sakin (65 votes).

    [10] "A hot autumn looms ahead for Cyprus"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (28.08.11, online) published an article by Bulent Kenes. The columnist analyzed the course of the Cyprus problem since Cyprus entered the European Union. He also wrote the impressions he formed out by talking to Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu during an iftar (fast-breaking) dinner, that Eroglu hosted last Saturday for a couple of Turkish journalists in occupied Lefkosia. He depicted Eroglu and the Turkish side as calm, despite the pressure and panic that expectations of a solution in the early months of next year might create on the Turkish side. He claimed that Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots are maintaining a strong attachment to the vision of a solution on the island since 2003, that they are not happy with the current state of the Cyprus talks and accused the Greek Cypriot side of adopting an uncompromising stance.

    He writes, inter alia: "What I conclude from my interview with Eroglu is that this is the last chance in the search to find a solution that will be in the interest of both sides of the island. Either a serious vision for a solution in Cyprus will emerge by early 2012, or the Turkish side will commence a new and irreversible process in the opposite direction. Time will show if, depending on the international conjuncture, this process will become a Kosovo-like declaration of independence, an interim formula similar to the case of Taiwan or a brand new model that will be called the Cyprus model in the political literature of the future. But it is clear that the last chance is being saved for the hope of achieving an ideal, integrated, bi-communal Cyprus.

    [...]

    For these hopes to be realized successfully, the Greek Cypriots, who have made it their habit to drag their feet in all previous efforts to find a solution, must be encouraged or forced to take steps toward a solution by the international community, especially the EU, which has spoiled this small country with its double standards. Otherwise, I would not be surprised to see that those contingency plans, which now look like a remote possibility, quickly become the Turkish side's primary option within four or five months. The efforts to get the KKTC recognized as an independent state do not risk a higher cost than the already troublesome current situation. But does this apply to the Greek Cypriots as well?"

    Kenes warns the Greek Cypriot political leaders that would opt for a Cyprus where the two-state structure becomes more entrenched and concludes: "Turkey, which can even risk freezing its EU negotiations process, and the KKTC, which is not bothered by the existence of two separate states on the island, certainly hold a position of greater psychological comfort and moral superiority going into the intensified negotiations process."

    [11] "New military, new Turkey"

    Under the above title, Hurriyet Daily News' (28.08.11) columnist Soner Cagaptay assessed AKP's new foreign policy line in cooperation with military on Cyprus, Turkey's ties with Israel and the crisis in Syria. Following is the commentary:

    "The resignation of Turkey's top military brass in July 29 was a momentous shift, aligning the military with the Justice and Development Party, or AKP Government that came to power in 2002.

    For the past decade, a military vs. AKP dichotomy has shaped most analysis on Turkey. A new framework seems necessary now.

    Policy differences between the AKP and the military leadership will now melt away, with the two joining around a nationalist foreign-policy line. In this regard, the governing party and the military will coalesce around the AKP's foreign-policy doctrine, containing a nativist streak that the AKP has implemented to make the country a regional power.

    Accordingly, there will be close cooperation between the Government and the military on key foreign-policy issues, ranging from Cyprus to ties with Israel, and to handling the crisis in Syria.

    On Cyprus, abandoning its erstwhile attitude on the issue of the divided island, the AKP will increasingly confront the Greek Cypriots on oil and gas exploration and drilling projects in the Eastern Mediterranean. Whereas Greek Cypriots are proceeding with plans to issue licenses to international companies for oil or gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean, Turkey objects to this, claiming that this violates international law.

    In one of the latest statements along this line, Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned the Greek Cypriots on August 5 that if exploratory drilling goes ahead, Turkey would react with the "necessary response" against such an action.

    A recalcitrant tone on the Cyprus issue chimes well with the military, but would be a further block to Turkey's European Union accession process by providing fodder to those countries, such as France, that object to Ankara's EU membership.

    Given that the drive toward EU membership has almost entirely died in Turkey ? more Romanians (61%) support Turkey's EU entry than do Turks (42%), according to a 2011 Eurobarometer poll ? rising tensions with the Greek Cypriots, who will take over the EU's rotating presidency in July 2012, might serve as the effective death knell of Turkey's EU negotiations process.

    On a variety of other foreign-policy issues, the AKP is likely to take the lead, with the military following, along a nationalist stance.

    Thus, Turkey's policy on Syria will be determined by the AKP, hardening along the way, with the military helping in the execution of this policy. Along these lines, even though the unrest in Syria should help align threat perceptions in Turkey and Israel, mutual ties in a downward spiral since Israel's May 31, 2010, attack on a Gaza-bound aid flotilla that killed nine Turks, will remain tense, with the Government pursuing a policy of cold peace with Israel, and the military moving along these lines.

    On the domestic front there will also be close alignment in the security realm. With terror attacks by the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party, or PKK, on the rise, the AKP and the new military will pursue closer cooperation against the PKK, including likely potential attacks against the group's bases in northern Iraq. Given the deteriorating relations between the AKP and the pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party, or BDP, a group that has open sympathies for the PKK, the AKP will push back against the PKK, providing the military with political support for kinetic action to this end.

    As it leads on foreign-policy issues, the AKP might even leave domestic security to the military, with the fight against the PKK becoming the military's chief mission.

    Since 2002, Turkey has been at a turning point in terms of its politics. While the country has been experiencing bumper economic growth and a gradual, if zigzagging, ascent to regional power status, the AKP has emerged as the country's dominant political force. With the unceremonious removal of what was considered a political check and balance, the military, from politics, the AKP's preponderance in Turkish politics may have reached its zenith".

    [12] Davutoglu to attend an informal meeting of EU Foreign Ministers in Poland

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (28.08.11) reported that Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu will attend an informal meeting of the EU Foreign Affairs Ministers (Gymnich) which will be held in Poland on September 2 and 3, 2011.

    The Turkish Foreign Ministry stated on Sunday that Davutoglu would participate in the "Gymnich" meeting on September 3 and share with the EU partners Turkey's approach and initiatives vis-?-vis the recent developments.

    Davutoglu will also hold bilateral meetings with his counterparts from the EU countries in the margins of the meeting.

    "In view of our multi-dimensional and active foreign policy, further strengthening dialogue and consultations between the EU and Turkey, as a future member state conducting accession negotiations, can also reinforce the EU's foreign and security policy. We are confident that enhancing cooperation between Turkey and EU in this field will contribute to international peace and stability," said the Ministry.

    During the meeting on September 3, the Foreign Ministers of the EU member and candidate countries are expected to discuss the initiatives of the EU towards its southern and eastern neighbours.

    The "Gymnich" meetings take place once under the six month tenure of each EU Presidency.

    [13] The Turkish Government seeks harmony with Euro courts

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (28.08.11-online) reported that according to officials, a Justice Ministry decree that recently established a Human Rights Directorate is set to further harmonize some of Turkey's judicial practices with European Union standards.

    Establishing the Directorate under the auspices of the Justice Ministry is seen as an important step toward efficiently implementing rulings from the European Court of Human Rights, or ECHR. The Directorate will also analyze verdicts given by the court.

    The decree came into force on Friday after it was approved by the Cabinet and published in the Official Gazette.

    According to officials, the Directorate will work for the elimination of all human rights violations that could potentially be taken to the ECHR and participate in efforts of the Group of Friendly Settlement in cases that have been opened against Turkey. The initial duty in defending Turkey in these cases belongs to the Foreign Ministry, but it is not currently known whether the establishment of this Directorate will change the division of labour in this regard. Turkey ranks second after Russia in terms of the number of cases taken to the ECHR, with nearly half of them on violations of fundamental human rights. Turkey pays millions of Euros in compensation to plaintiffs every year.

    According to the decree, the number of judges and prosecutors will also be increased through changes in probation periods that will ease entry into the position, while a stipulation that judges must have five years of experience in the field before becoming an investigating judge will not be implemented for 10 years.

    To increase the experience of Turkish judges and prosecutors, the Ministry will organize training programs for them abroad. With the decree, the age minimum for lawyers to become judges will be increased from the current 35 to 45.

    The Government has also decided to extend the judicial recess period; the recess will now begin on July 20 and end August 31, and all judges and prosecutors are required to use their holidays between those dates except for those on call.

    The decree will also bring some improvements for the arrested and convicted as the concept of first-degree relatives has been expanded to include mother- and father-in-laws.

    The arrested and convicted will also be given the right to participate in the funerals of first-degree relatives.

    [14] BDP allegedly plans to take the parliamentary oath in October

    Turkish daily Istanbul Today's Zaman (26.08.11-online in English) reported that Turkey's pro-Kurdish Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), which has refused to take the oath of office and assume its seat since the June 12 elections, plans to end its boycott in October, when the Turkish Parliament returns from its summer recess.

    Sources say the BDP decided to end its boycott during a recent Party Council (PM) meeting. The BDP administration reportedly took that decision considering that the political parties in Parliament have begun working on a new Constitution and that the BDP should also take an active role in these efforts.

    BDP chairman Hamit Geylani in his statements during a news conference on Friday confirmed that the pro-Kurdish party is planning to return to Parliament on October 1. "We consider October 1 as an appropriate time. But this is not enough. There should also be an appropriate ground," Geylani added.

    He said that the party will discuss when and how the BDP will go to Parliament with the Party Council and its members. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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