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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-09-20

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. 179/11 20.09.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the start of the drilling for oil and natural gas by the Republic of Cyprus
  • [02] The Turkish press views on Cyprus' drilling explorations
  • [03] Erdogan stated that Turkey is possible to begin explorations in the Mediterranean next week
  • [04] The Turkish Energy Minister on drilling activities in the Mediterranean; Turkey's TPAO ready to start exploration activities next week
  • [05] Ozersay says they will not allow fait accomplis on the issue oil and natural gas
  • [06] Davutoglu discusses bilateral ties, regional issues, Cyprus's oil exploration activities with Clinton and Hague; Clinton stated that the Republic of Cyprus has the right to search for gas in Eastern Mediterranean
  • [07] Eroglu in New York
  • [08] Erdogan to meet Obama in New York today; The Cyprus problem among the subjects of discussion
  • [09] Davutoglu stated that Turkey is seeking new axis of power with Egypt
  • [10] Claim that Shell firm was ready to start oil drilling in Platanissos village in 1974 11. KTOS: all the natural wealth of Cyprus belongs to all Cypriots
  • [12] Ustel in Kazakhstan to attend TURKSOY meeting
  • [13] Hotel reservation firm Booking.com removed hotels at occupied Cyprus from its list
  • [14] Statements by Gul from Germany: "The EU must give Turkey a chance to finish the negotiation process"
  • [15] Turkish Finance Minister stated that Turkey will help the EU to become a global economic player

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    The start of the drilling for oil and natural gas in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone, statements on the issue by Prime Minister Erdogan, the Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz and Dervis Eroglu's special envoy Kudret Ozersay, and other internal matters are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers refer also to the contacts of Eroglu in New York and the visit of the self-styled minister of tourism and culture Unal Ustel, to Kazakhstan.

    The beginning of exploratory drilling in the Eastern Mediterranean by Cyprus, statements on the subject by Prime Minister Erdogan prior to his departure for New York and Energy Minister Yildiz, Gul continuing his visit and contacts in Germany, a hoax bomb call prior to a speech he was set to deliver in a German university and other internal issues are the main topics in today's Turkish press.

    [01] How the Turkish Cypriot press covers the start of the drilling for oil and natural gas by the Republic of Cyprus

    The start of the drilling for oil and natural gas by the Republic of Cyprus yesterday is extensively covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today (20.09.11).

    Under the title: "The drilling started", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen reports that it has been announced that Turkish warships are in international waters simply watching the work at the drilling platform. The paper refers also to a statement made yesterday by the Turkish Prime Minister who said that Turkey and the breakaway regime will also start explorations for oil next week.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris refers to the issue under the title: "Crisis period" noting that the "Greek Cypriot administration", as it describes the Government of the Republic of Cyprus, launched officially the drilling for natural gas in parcel no 12 named "Aphrodite" in spite of Turkey's "hard warnings". The paper refers also to Prime Minister Erdogan's statement noting that "Erdogan reacted immediately".

    Under the title: "Drilling for drilling", Turkish Cypriot daily Havadis reports that "the statements that included threats by Turkey" and the self-styled government of the breakaway regime "did not helped". The paper cites information broadcasted by CyBC radio noting that Israeli warships and surveillance aircrafts are watching the drilling at the platform of American Noble Energy company. "The American company is protected by the Israeli military force", notes the paper, which also reports that the Turkish Prime Minister said that Turkish warships and aircrafts are closely watching the drilling in the south sea area of Cyprus. Havadis writes also that the Turkish Minister of Energy Taner Yildiz made a statement on the issue "at a high anger level". Yildiz described as "provocative" the initiatives of the Republic of Cyprus and announced that Turkey and the breakaway regime could launch drilling next week around Cyprus.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris refers to the developments under the title: "Drilling under the wings of Israel!"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis refers to the issue under the title: "And the drilling started". The paper reports that the Turkish Minister of Energy said that Turkey and the breakaway regime will sign an agreement for their "continental shelf". Moreover, Bakis writes that in statements to Anatolia news agency, Kudret Ozersay, special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader, referred to the issue and said that they will not allow faits accomplis to happen.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes refers to the statements made by Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Taner Yildiz under the title: "Retaliation" and "We have agreed with a Norwegian company". Noting that Turkey is determined on this issue, the paper writes that Yildiz said that they agreed with a Norwegian company [to explore for natural gas and oil] but it is not right to disclose the name of this company.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika refers to the issue under the title: "There is no intervention; Swaggering was not effective". The paper writes that Turkey, which tried to prevent the drilling with threats for war, stopped when USA told it to stop. According to Afrika, the launching of explorations for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea by Turkey depends on the meeting which Erdogan will hold with the US President Obama in New York.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan covers the issue under the title: "And the drilling started under the shadow of the herons; Turkey as well is starting in a week".

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi refers to the issue under the title: "Reciprocal drilling in the Mediterranean" and reports that Turkey's response to the drilling of the Republic of Cyprus did not delayed. The paper notes that after the increase of tension in the area, the EU warned the sides to avoid tension and focus on the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    Under the title: "Drilling in 'Aphrodite' started", Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan argues that the "Greek Cypriot administration which tries to claim the sole ownership of Cyprus' natural resources, continues to play with fire and does not take into consideration the Turkish warnings".

    Under the title: "Those looking for oil look for trouble!" Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli argues that the view that oil was the reason for the 1st and 2nd World Wars is widely spread in Europe. "It seems that now is our turn", writes the paper.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Ortam refers to the developments under the title: "The Mediterranean is learned by heart!"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar refers to Prime Minister Erdogan's statement that Turkey might launch drilling this week. Under the title: "The actual oil [reserves] are in Platanissos", the paper publishes statements by a Turkish Cypriot former employee of Shell company who told Haberdar that the company had announced in February 1974 that the most appropriate area to drill for oil and natural gas is the sea north of Cyprus.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] The Turkish press views on Cyprus' drilling explorations

    The majority of the Turkish dailies (20.09.11) host the news regarding the start of exploratory drilling in Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and Turkish Prime Minister's statements that Turkey will also start drilling under the following headlines:

    Sabah: "7 trillion dollar big game in the Mediterranean"

    Hurriyet: "Provocative drilling"

    Zaman: "Erdogan to Greek Cypriots on his way to USA: We start drilling in the Mediterranean"

    Bugun: "A week to Greek Cypriots" [referring to Taner Yildiz's statements]

    Aksam: "Drilling for retaliation"

    Gunes: "Greek Cypriots will find troubles"

    HaberTurk: "We will search also with our fleet"

    Milliyet: "All the stakes in the Mediterranean"

    Radikal: "Greek Cypriots started drilling in the Mediterranean; Turkey said: 'I start within a week'"

    Star: "We start drilling with the escort of the fleet"

    Taraf: "In the 'National Cause' came natural gas"

    Vatan: "Retaliation to Aphrodite [parcel]"

    Yeni Safak: "The temperature of Aphrodite has increased"

    Moreover, Turkish daily Sabah (20.09.11) reports that after Cyprus started drilling, Turkey is expected to start drilling in retaliation. This matter will be also evaluated separately in Turkey's National Security Council's (MGK) regular October meeting. The paper also cites information that the first evaluation for the energy potential of the Eastern Mediterranean and its increased seriousness over the latest periods was done by Turkey's General Staff. The General Staff in 2010 invited academics and important names in the Sea Law and asked them if it is worth going to war over the energy reserves of Eastern Mediterranean. The answer was "yes" and the Turkish Staff started preparing detailed reports for the region. The paper also reports that with the latest "crisis" all sea and air forces plan according to an "emergency situation."

    The paper also invokes a document that was prepared for a state meeting, which includes important information regarding relations in the Eastern Mediterranean. The document describes all the agreements that Cyprus has signed regarding its EEZ, the natural gas deposits that are estimated to exist in the area and draws the following conclusions: "If it is not able to hinder the drilling activities in parcel 12 inside the so-called Greek Cypriot EEZ at the end of September/ beginning of October, as it was announced, after a very short period, the last months of 2011, it is predestined to experience an international race for securing rights for explorations in the other fields of the Greek Cypriot side. Therefore the situation is serious, even more serious. From this point onward we are headed full speed to a breaking point which will test Turkey's decisiveness."

    [03] Erdogan stated that Turkey is possible to begin explorations in the Mediterranean next week

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.11) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Premier Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Monday that Turkey has taken a step with the "TRNC" and that the two "countries" would begin activities in an exclusive economic region soon.

    Erdogan answered questions of the press corps prior to his departure from Ankara's Esenboga International Airport for New York, U.S. where he will participate in the 66th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

    Asked about what he thought on Greek Cypriot efforts for exploration of oil and natural gas in Eastern Mediterranean, Erdogan said that Turkey would begin exploration of oil and natural gas with the "TRNC" soon, possibly within this week. "The exclusive economic zone as announced by the Greek Cypriots is disputable", Erdogan said adding that Turkey is a regional and global actor in this transformation process.

    Prior to his departure, Premier Erdogan told reporters that the UN meeting would be held during a period of time when Turkey is dealing with several foreign political matters and when the international community is facing several problems.

    Many important issues concerning Turkey and the world would be brought up in this year's General Assembly meeting, he said. Palestine's initiative to obtain full membership in the UN was one of the important issues to be discussed in the UN meeting, he said.

    Erdogan said he would hold talks with US President Barack Obama and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon during his visit and added: "If promises were kept at the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly, a (positive) result could be achieved for Palestine that resembles the structure of the Vatican".

    [04] The Turkish Energy Minister on drilling activities in the Mediterranean; Turkey's TPAO ready to start exploration activities next week

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.11) reported from Ankara that the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz has said that if the "Greek Cypriot administration", as he called the Republic of Cyprus maintained oil exploration activities in the Mediterranean, Turkey could sign a "continental shelf delimitation agreement" with the "TRNC".

    Yildiz told reporters that the "Greek Cypriot administration's" offshore gas and oil exploration activities with Texas-based Noble Energy were against the international law, adding that "it is a political provocation aiming at consolidating the 'Greek Cypriot administration's' status. Turkey and the 'TRNC' will sign a 'continental shelf delimitation agreement' in case the 'Greek Cypriot administration' maintains its activities in the Mediterranean. The text of the agreement is ready and it will be signed in parallel with developments."

    "The Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) can start exploration activities next week. The Navy can escort the seismic vessel. After signing the continental shelf delimitation agreement with the 'TRNC', TPAO's exploration will also include the 'TRNC's' continental shelf" Yildiz added.

    [05] Ozersay says they will not allow fait accomplis on the issue oil and natural gas

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.11) reported from New York that Kudret Ozersay, Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's special representative, said on Sunday that a comprehensive solution in Cyprus was their priority but they would not accept a fait accompli policy on the island. Ozersay arrived in New York with Eroglu for the meetings of the 66th Term of the UN General Assembly.

    In an exclusive interview with AA, Ozersay was asked to elaborate on a "continental shelf" agreement reached by Turkey and the breakaway regime last week. He said they reached a consensus on the issue and that "no agreement was signed yet".

    "The two sides reached a consensus on a possible agreement", he said and added: "The agreement will be signed if the Greek Cypriots begin exploration. The agreement will be taken to the Turkish Cypriot parliament for its approval after it gets signed by the two countries. The aim of this agreement and other measures we will take is to stop the Greek Cypriots from starting exploration. What we are doing is to prevent the Greek Cypriots from their intention to start exploration. This issue involves the rights of the Turkish Cypriots. In case the Greek Cypriots insist on the matter, we will take certain steps including the signing of a continental shelf agreement with Turkey. This is only the beginning. A comprehensive solution in Cyprus is our priority. However, we will not permit a fait accompli policy in the island".

    According to Ankara Anatolia, Ozersay gave also the following answers to the questions of the agency's correspondent:

    "Question: What do the rights of the Turkish Cypriots you mentioned include?

    Answer: The Turkish Cypriots, in all scenarios, have certain rights on the natural resources present in the coastal areas of the island. The Turkish Cypriots have rights on these natural resources whether or not a comprehensive solution is reached in the island. The Turkish Cypriots insist on reaching a solution that could be accepted by both sides in Cyprus. However, closing our eyes to the Greek Cypriot attempts on oil and natural gas implies accepting a deadlock in the island.

    Question: In case of a solution, what will the rights of the Turkish Cypriots be regarding these natural resources?

    Answer: There is a consensus in Cyprus that the richness in the sea will be under the authority of the two sides in a federal state. An agreement made by a united Cyprus with other countries will have to be approved in the parliament by a special majority. In other words, unless the two sides in the island approve such agreements, the agreements will not go into force. The two sides in Cyprus have reached a consensus that income received from the natural resources in sea will be shared by both parties in Cyprus.

    Question: If the status quo and deadlock continued, what will be the rights of the Turkish Cypriots vis-a-vis natural resources in the sea?

    Answer: Nothing could be more natural than Turkish Cypriots claiming rights in such a situation. Just imagine that someone tells you that you are the partner of certain richness. At the same time, this person tells you that he is the only one who could decide on the future of this richness. This is what the Greek Cypriot administration is presently doing. On one hand, they say that the Turkish Cypriots are a partner in the island and, on the other hand, they sign agreements with various international companies. This situation cannot be accepted by the Turkish Cypriots.

    Question: There are arguments that the issue of oil and natural gas will encourage the two sides in Cyprus for a solution. What do you think about such arguments?

    Answer: I do not agree about such arguments. The Turkish Cypriot side does not need encouragement for a solution. The Turkish Cypriots have proven their stance in the referendum of 2004. Only if the international actors tell the two sides that the exploration for oil and natural gas could begin after a solution is reached, will the two sides wish to reach an agreement as soon as possible".

    [06] Davutoglu discusses bilateral ties, regional issues, Cyprus's oil exploration activities with Clinton and Hague; Clinton stated that the Republic of Cyprus has the right to search for gas in Eastern Mediterranean

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.11), the Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu held talks with the British Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs William Jefferson Hague and the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in New York on Monday.

    Diplomatic officials said that Davutoglu and Hague discussed bilateral relations, Syria, developments in Middle East and Cyprus.

    The meeting between Davutoglu and Clinton focused on Turkish-US relations, Middle East, Cyprus and Turkish-Israeli ties.

    On the same issue, Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.11) reported that Davutoglu said his meeting with Clinton was preparatory of the meeting to be held between Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Barack Obama on Tuesday and added: "We confirmed our cooperation against terrorism. We brought up our demands on fight against PKK terrorism from the United States and the international community. We will exert efforts to establish an international platform on combating terrorism together with Clinton. We also discussed the developments in the Middle East within the context of Erdogan's visit to Egypt, Tunisia and Libya, the future of Arab Spring as well as peace and stability in the Middle East".

    Davutoglu said they considered that it was time for the establishment of democracy, the state of law and administrations respecting human rights in the Middle East.

    Davutoglu said that during the meeting, they also discussed exploration for oil and natural gas by the "Greek Cypriot administration". "What Greek Cypriot administration tries to do under the name of exploration of oil and gas is provocation. We discussed it. I told her that when the Cyprus negotiations are close to a solution, such unilateral steps will not bring peace to the region. Everyone should know that", he said.

    Meanwhile, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (20.09.11) reports that a US official said that Clinton repeated the US position that the internationally recognized "Greek Cypriot administration" has the right to search for gas in the Mediterranean and that this should not undermine talks to resolve the dispute over the divided island of Cyprus.

    (?)

    The officials said that Clinton told Davutoglu that the best way to sort out the problems related to energy and economic development is by finally ending the 37-year standoff, according to the officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the meeting was private.

    (?).

    [07] Eroglu in New York

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (20.09.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu is currently in New York for the 66th regular session of the UN General Assembly. The paper reports that Eroglu's meeting with Turkish Prime Minister RecepTayyip Erdogan will shape their position on the Cyprus talks and on Cyprus' drilling for natural gas and oil. Eroglu's meeting with Erdogan will precede talks with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. It has been announced that Eroglu will discuss with Ban the Turkish Cypriot side's position on the Greek Cypriot side's move to launch offshore oil and gas exploration as well as the tripartite meeting at the end of October.

    As part of his contacts, Eroglu will also meet with the Secretary General of the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Ekmelettin Ihsanoglu, as well as with heads of states and governments of various countries who are in New York.

    According to the paper, Eroglu and his delegation are staying at the Plaza Hotel in New York, where the flag of the breakaway regime is hoisted in the facade of the hotel.

    [08] Erdogan to meet Obama in New York today; The Cyprus problem among the subjects of discussion

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.11) reported from New York that the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan will meet US President Barack Obama in New York on Tuesday.

    Erdogan will be visiting New York to attend the 66th term meetings of the United Nations General Assembly.

    The topics such as Palestine's initiative for recognition by the UN as a state and a member, the situation in Libya and Syria, counter-terrorism on global scale, the Cyprus talks, the "Alliance of Civilizations", prevention of proliferation of nuclear weapons, mediation, hunger in Somalia and Africa, desertification and cooperation in Asia will be discussed by Erdogan in various UN meetings.

    [09] Davutoglu stated that Turkey is seeking new axis of power with Egypt

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (19.09.11) reported that the Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu has stated in an interview with "The New York Times" on Sunday before his departure for New York to attend the UN General Assembly, that Turkey and Egypt could create a new axis of power at a time when American influence in the Middle East seems to be waning. "This is what we want. This will not be an axis against any other country -- not Israel, not Iran, not any other country, but this will be an axis of democracy, real democracy. It will be an axis of democracy of the two biggest nations in our region, from the north to the south, from the Black Sea down to the Nile Valley in Sudan".

    The Minister's remarks came after accompanying Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan on a three-nation tour involving Egypt, Tunisia and Libya.

    During the tour, Erdogan sought to use his prestige for lending support to the Arab uprisings as leverage for greater influence for Turkey in a region where, as the seat of the Ottoman Empire, it once ruled for centuries. Erdogan received a hero's welcome in all three countries while impressing the peoples of those countries with his tough stance against Israel.

    In Cairo, Turkey and Egypt established a high-level cooperation council similar to previous attempts with other regional Arab nations to facilitate trade and cultivate close relations as part of Turkey's increasingly assertive foreign policy to expand its political and economic interests in the region.

    Davutoglu predicted that Turkey's $1.5 billion in investments in Egypt would grow to $5 billion within two years and that the total trade volume would increase from the current $3.5 billion to $5 billion by the end of 2012, reaching $10 billion by 2015. Recalling that during the visit, the accompanying business delegation signed about $1 billion in contracts in a single day, Davutoglu added, "For democracy, we need a strong economy."

    According to Davutoglu, an alliance between Turkey and Egypt is a force for stability. "For the regional balance of power, we want to have a strong, very strong Egypt. Some people may think Egypt and Turkey are competing. No. This is our strategic decision. We want a strong Egypt now," he said.

    Referring to bilateral relations that have become strained with Israel and Israel's increased distance with the region, he said: "Nobody can blame Turkey or any other country in the region for its [Israel's] isolation. It was Israel and its Government's decision to isolate themselves. And they will be isolated even more if they continue this policy of rejecting any proposal."

    Davutoglu, meanwhile, also expressed deep disappointment over the fact that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad failed to carry out reforms although he gave him his personal assurance that he would do so during a lengthy meeting held in Damascus last month.

    When asked if he felt betrayed, Davutoglu replied, "Yes, of course."

    Ankara has constantly pressured Syria to end a violent crackdown on protests and appealed to Assad not to wait to implement reforms until it was too late. Yet, eventually Turkish leaders stated that they had lost confidence in Syria and that the situation had reached a point where any changes would be too little too late.

    [10] Claim that Shell firm was ready to start oil drilling in Platanissos village in 1974 Under the title: "The main oil (deposits) are in Platanissos village", Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar newspaper (20.09.11) publishes an interview with Artam Diren, a Turkish Cypriot who worked at Shell firm in 1974, who said that the company was ready to start drilling for oil in 1974, but the works were abandoned due to the 1974 Turkish invasion to Cyprus.

    According to Diren, Shell announced in a press conference held in February 1974 that the company was ready to start drilling for oil in August or September 1974. After conducting researches around the island, Shell decided that the most convenient and productive place to start drilling was the offshore waters of Platanissos village which is located at Cyprus', northern territorial waters.

    Diren claimed that Shell was prepared to send the biggest searching vessel to the area. However it had to abandon its plans due to the 1974 Turkish invasion.

    Diren went on and alleged that it was important that Shell preferred to stat drilling in the northern part of Cyprus in 1974 and not in the southern part and said that it was determined that large oil deposits were found at the offshore waters of Platanissos village.

    [11] KTOS: all the natural wealth of Cyprus belongs to all Cypriots

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (20.09.11) reports that Sener Elcil, general secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS), said in a written statement that Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is "barking for a war" on the issue of oil exploration in the region and will drag the people of Turkey into an adventure by disregarding the international law and agreements it signed as a state. Elcil also said that this action will have a negative impact on the ongoing Cyprus talks.

    Elcil said that while the AKP Government on the one hand talks about "two administrations, two peoples and two democracies", it calls for war on behalf of the Turkish Cypriots on the pretext of being a guarantor country on the other. Elcil said that now that there is oil and natural gas in the south part of Cyprus, the AKP has remembered its obligations as a guarantor of the island.

    Referring to the natural wealth of Cyprus, Elcil said that it belongs to all Cypriots. He also added: "We, as Turkish Cypriot community, do not want to be either a patch to the Greek Cypriots or a hostage of Turkey".

    [12] Ustel in Kazakhstan to attend TURKSOY meeting

    Turkish Cypriot daily Vatan (20.09.11) reports that self-styled minister of tourism, environment and culture Unal Ustel went to Kazakhstan to attend the 29th session meeting of the council of permanent culture ministers of the Turkish spoken countries held in Astana by the International Organization of Turkic Culture (TURKSOY).

    Ustel is accompanied by the so-called director of the culture department Dervis Beyit and the so-called officer of publicity and marketing department Mustafa Koprulu. Ustel will also address the meeting.

    Prior to his departure, Ustel said that within the framework of his participation in the council meeting, they will request that an exhibition of painting and photos to be opened in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, a gathering of the Eurasia writers union and poems of the Turkic world to be held in the occupied area, as well as the international youth chamber orchestra of TURKSOY to give a concert in the occupied area.

    [13] Hotel reservation firm Booking.com removed hotels at occupied Cyprus from its list

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (20.09.11) reports that the hotel reservation firm Booking.com, located in Holland, which is activated through internet under the address www.booking.com decided to take out information about hotels in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    According to the paper, the decision was taken by the firm after pressures exerted by the Republic of Cyprus.

    The site which is viewed by more than 165 thousand persons who search for hotels and it is considered to be one of the most important corporations in its area, flew more than 15 thousand tourists to the occupied area of Cyprus in the last ten months. Around 20 hotels located in the occupied area were listed at the site.

    [14] Statements by Gul from Germany: "The EU must give Turkey a chance to finish the negotiation process"

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (19.09.11) reported that Turkey's President Abdullah Gul stated at a joint press conference following talks with his German counterpart Christian Wulff on Monday in Berlin that the Europeans should first of all let Turkey finish its European Union membership process successfully, instead of holding debates over whether Turkey should become a full member or not.

    Gul said also the following: "There are conditions for membership to the EU. One of them is to complete the negotiation process, which includes the candidate country's bringing all its standards to the level of European Union standards. There are chapter headings in this process. Turkey is currently busy carrying out reforms. I think that recent arguments as to whether Turkey should become a full member of the Union are unnecessary. First of all, Turkey should be given the chance to complete its negotiation process".

    "After Turkey successfully completes the process, the European Council will rule whether Turkey is ready to become a full member. Then, some of the member states can hold a referendum to ask their people. If one of them says Turkey would be a burden to the Union, then Turkey cannot be a member of the EU. We will respect it. On the other hand, the Turkish people can say that they do not want Turkey to become a member of the Union on that day. But it is too early to talk about this. Completion of the EU negotiation process will make Turkey a stronger country with its democracy, legal standards and economy. And it will contribute to the whole of Europe. For the time being, we do not have any intention to give up our strategic orientation," Gul added.

    The Turkish President arrived in Berlin on Sunday evening for a four-day visit and it is the first presidential trip from Turkey to Germany in nine years.

    His remarks concerning Turkey's EU bid came a day before his meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is a staunch opponent of Turkey's full EU membership.

    "Today, honoring the signatures that we put is a duty for all. Pacta sunt servanda [a principle of international law which means in Latin that agreements must be kept] is a fundamental principle for Europe," Gul said.

    EU countries unanimously agreed to open official accession talks with Turkey in 2005 before German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy came to power. Sarkozy claims that Turkey does not belong in Europe, while Merkel promotes a "privileged partnership" that falls short of membership, a formula Ankara categorically rejects. In Berlin, May 2009, Merkel and Sarkozy made a joint statement declaring that they shared a common position regarding Turkey's accession to the EU in that it should be offered a privileged partnership, not full EU membership.

    Although having started accession negotiations with the EU in 2005, Turkey has only been able to open talks on 13 out of 35 chapters thus far and talks have been provisionally completed in only one chapter.

    Gul's visit to Germany also comes on the 50th anniversary of an agreement that opened the way for mass immigration of Turkish workers, mostly from rural areas, to meet the additional labour demand during the economic restructuring of Germany.

    Germany is home to some 2.5 million Turks. Turkish immigrants come frequently under fire for having poorly integrated in the German society, despite having settled in the country decades ago.

    For his part, Wulff denied that Germany is against Turkey's full EU membership. On the contrary, Germany helped easing some problems concerning the process and has been acting in balance, Wulff suggested, without elaborating. He added that the mutual confidence between Turkey and the EU will grow if they cooperate in the Middle East and North Africa.

    Ahead of the press conference, Germany's Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble and his Turkish counterpart Mehmet Simsek, signed an agreement on the prevention of double taxation.

    [15] Turkish Finance Minister stated that Turkey will help the EU to become a global economic player

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (19.09.11) reported that the Turkish Finance Minister Mehmet Simsek made statements to a panel discussion in Birmingham on Turkey's economy and its role in the EU, on the sideline of the British Liberal Democratic Party's annual congress. He said that Turkey's accession to the European Union would give the 27-member-bloc means to preserve its importance at the international arena, adding that the Turkish membership would not come as an extra burden on the Union's shoulders.

    "The EU needs Turkey if it wants to remain as an important actor. We won't become an extra burden for Europe but instead help it ease its existing problems. Turkey will help the Union become a global economic player".

    Simsek said Turkey's economy had shown a remarkable performance over the last couple of years as the country's GDP grew 9% in 2010 and 10.2% in the first half of this year.

    Simsek further said that Turkey had a strong banking sector and a solid public finance, however, he stressed that certain structural problems still persisted such as "a big current account deficit." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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