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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-09-26
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From: The Republic of Cyprus Press and Information Office Server at <http://www.pio.gov.cy/>TURKISH CYPRIOT AND TURKISH MEDIA REVIEW No. 182/11 24-26.09.11 C O N T E N T S
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS
[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESSTurkish Cypriot dailies over the weekend focus on Piri Reis ?Turkey's seismic research ship- sailing from Izmir in order to conduct oil research in the Mediterranean, Eroglu's proposals in the meeting he had with the UN Secretary General and statements by Erdogan, Davutoglu and Yildiz in favour of Eroglu's proposals. Today's Turkish Cypriot press also covers Eroglu's statements upon his return to the occupied area, Kucuk stating that the water project will be completed by March 2014, Turkey's EU Minister who is expected to arrive in the occupied area today evening, Ozgurgun announcing that "they will soon start drilling" and a tenders call regarding the restoration of Othello's tower and the Venetian walls of occupied Famagusta.
Statements by Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan to members of the press on his way back from New York where he attended United Nations General Assembly, the evaluation of the proposal by the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu from Erdogan, Taner Yildiz Turkish Minister of Energy and Ahmet Davutoglu, Minister of Foreign Affairs, statements by CHP's leader Kemal Kilicdaroglu about Piri Reis' bad condition and news that F16 planes may be deployed in occupied Cyprus and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish dailies.
 Eroglu: We will do whatever we want on the issue of oil and natural gasUnder the title "'We will do whatever we want'", Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.09.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has argued that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) will carry out exploration for oil and natural gas on behalf of the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, within the scope of the "agreement" of delimiting the "continental shelf" between Turkey and the breakaway regime.
In statements yesterday at the illegal Tymbou airport upon his return from New York, Eroglu alleged the following: "Taking as starting point the reality that we have rights on the undersea wealth in the area all around the island from the south to the north, we have proved the reality that on the issue of these explorations as well, we could give permission for any area we wish and to any company we wish".
Eroglu reiterated that the Turkish Cypriot side had warned the Greek Cypriots before they started the exploration for oil and natural gas, but the latter did not took into consideration the Turkish warning. He claimed that the Greek Cypriots realized that these warnings were serious after the signing of the "agreement" between Turkey and the breakaway regime on the issue of delimiting their "continental shelf".
Eroglu claimed that it is not possible to take into account the assurance given by President Christofias that the natural wealth of Cyprus will be shared with the Turkish Cypriots. He added, however, that with this statement, President Christofias admitted the reality that the Turkish Cypriots have also rights on the undersea wealth of Cyprus.
Referring to the view of the Turkish Cypriot "opposition" that he had no authority to sign such an "agreement" with Turkey, Eroglu said that according to the "constitution" of the breakaway regime, the "president" is the head of the "state" and has the authority to sign "agreements", but these "agreements" should be approved by the "parliament". He noted that the "agreement" he has signed in New York with Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan on the issue of delimiting their "continental shelf" is an "international agreement" and therefore it should pass from the "assembly" of the regime. He noted that the day after the signing of this "agreement", its text was sent to the "government" and added that the "prime minister" conveyed this text to the "speaker" of the "parliament" and met with the political party leaders.
Eroglu said that in spite of the signing of this "agreement" with Turkey, he submitted a written proposal with four points to the UN Secretary?General [on the issue of the explorations for oil and natural gas]. He said that he told to the UN Secretary-General that they exert efforts in the direction of the continuation of the negotiations and they will continue the mission they put forward in the Geneva meeting.
Eroglu alleged that they [the Turkish side] show flexibility sometimes for the continuation of the negotiations and noted that in the beginning they did not want to discuss issues such as the territory, the property, the citizenship and the map, but afterwards they discussed these issues and submitted their own proposals. Eroglu said that they proposed that the territory should be the last issue of discussion and that this could be done at four-party or a five-party summit. Eroglu reiterated that the Turkish side will take a step backwards on the issue of oil and natural gas, if the Greek Cypriot side do the same.
Responding to a question, Eroglu said that "big reserves" of natural gas and oil were established around Cyprus during the explorations and that it is even said that these reserves are enough for hundreds of years.
 Eroglu's proposals to Bank Ki-moon and his contacts in New YorkAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.09.11), Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu met the United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in New York on Saturday.
Following the meeting, Eroglu told reporters that they discussed the Cyprus talks as well as recent developments regarding oil and natural gas exploration in the Mediterranean which, as he claimed, was directly related with the Cyprus talks.
Noting that they presented a new proposal including four topics to Ban within that scope, Eroglu claimed that the proposal was presented to the UN as a way of solution to the problem regarding Cyprus' efforts to explore oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean.
Listing the topics, Eroglu said: "1. Let's suspend the oil and natural gas exploration simultaneously until a comprehensive solution is found to the Cyprus problem.
2. If this is not going to happen, then we shall set up an ad-hoc committee shaped by representatives of both peoples. We shall give some authorities to the committee such as: explorations, agreements and licences depend on written approval of both sides, and we will negotiate the ratio of sharing the richness which will be found.
3. We shall use the income to finance the comprehensive talks.
4. Adoption of the plan shall not harm the positions of both sides."
Eroglu alleged that Ban was pleased with the proposal.
When asked whether the "TRNC [breakaway regime] could give authorization to explore oil and natural gas only for the north of the island after signing the agreement on the delineation of continental shelf with Turkey", Eroglu said that the "Turkish Cypriots had rights on all underwater wealth around Cyprus island and so the TRNC had the right to give authorization both north and the south of the island".
When asked how this process would affect the intensified Cyprus talks, Eroglu said that "TRNC wanted to pursue talks", adding that the talks would continue on Tuesday. Eroglu then held a bilateral meeting with Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu.
Moreover, A.A. (25.09.11) reported that Eroglu, speaking to reporters on Sunday, denied the postponement of a tripartite Cyprus meeting which will be held in New York in October.
Eroglu told that the tripartite summit, which would be held between the Turkish and Greek Cypriot leaders and the UN in New York at the end of October, would not be postponed due to the oil exploration crisis in the Mediterranean.
Noting that there were large reserves, especially natural gas, around Cyprus, Eroglu said that the Turkish Cypriot side earlier asked the Cyprus Government to delay oil exploration as Cyprus talks were under way, but the Greek Cypriots did not respond, and they began oil exploration.
Regarding the tripartite summit, Eroglu said that it would be a one-day summit, adding that UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon sincerely supported an agreement.
Meanwhile, illegal Bayrak television (online, 25.09.11) reported that Eroglu, who had been holding a series of contacts on the sideline of the 66th regular session of the UN General Assembly in New York, visited also the Islamic Cultural Centre, which is known for its important work on inter-religious dialogue.
He received information about the activities of the Centre during his meeting with the Centre's chairperson Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf.
During the meeting, the Imam expressed the hope that the Cyprus talks will be completed with a successful outcome and the Turkish Cypriots will live in prosperity.
For his part, Eroglu praised the Imam for his contribution to inter-religious friendship and invited him to the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
 Yildiz, Erdogan and Davutoglu on Eroglu's proposalTurkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 25.09.11), under the title: "TRNC (breakaway regime) to start drilling in Eastern Mediterranean soon", reported inter alia, the following:
Also on Sunday, Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz announced that Turkey was building a national seismic ship for oil and gas explorations, and that the country might purchase a drilling platform if need arises. If the data we gather tells us we need to buy an oil platform, the Turkish Petroleum Corporation [TPAO] could buy a platform worth $1.5 billion. It is not an easy acquisition but it is possible,' Y1ld1z told reporters. He also added that the TRNC [breakaway regime] would not cut down on the electricity it has been providing for the Greek Cypriots since a blast munitions dump that put down the major power source of the country. 'We have nothing against the people of Greek Cyprus [government controlled area of the Republic of Cyprus], we will not abuse their soft spot,' Y1ld1z said.
To reach a consensus on the drilling debate, the TRNC submitted a four-step proposal to the United Nations on Saturday, regarding the management of the crisis that has emerged out of gas and oil exploration in contested territories. (?) Eroglu handed over the proposal to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon during a private meeting between the two officials, the Anatolia news agency reported.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan welcomed Eroglu's move on Sunday, as he told reporters on his flight from New York that it was a fair proposal. 'If they actually do discover hydrocarbon sources, the income [to be obtained from extraction] could go to a fund monitored by the UN, and shared through fair methods on condition that the money cannot be used for purchasing arms.'
Turkish Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu earlier stressed that Turkey strongly supported the proposal at a press session held after a meeting he had with Eroglu following Eroglu's session with Ban. 'It is a very constructive proposal. ?We believe it will prevent the current crisis from developing further and create a positive atmosphere,' Davutoglu was quoted as saying by Anatolia on Saturday."
 Erdogan: "Turkey now needs to show its presence in the Mediterranean, and it will do so"Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 25.09.11), under the title: "Erdogan: PKK talks over, fight to go on", reports, inter alia, the following article by Mehmet Ali Birand:
Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan once again spoke to members of the press he invited on his plane on the way back from New York to answer their questions and share his assessments.
He said the fact that the outlawed Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) was striking places nearly every day and causing a rise in the number of dead soldiers was inevitably more important than what went on in New York.
Another striking and novel aspect of the conversation was news of sanctions being prepared against Syria. 'We [made] no decisions to [implement] sanctions against Syria until now. We only took some measures regarding the airspace to control arms traffic; that is all. Soon, I will be paying a visit to the Hatay camp and sanctions will begin after that,' he said but gave no further details.
I inquired about the chilling relations with Greek Cyprus [Republic of Cyprus], Syria and Israel. I said the impression that Turkey was flexing its muscles was gaining in strength among the international public and asked whether he was discomforted by this. He is not discomforted at all.
'Turkey now needs to show its presence in the Mediterranean, and it will do so. We are going to increase our military strength. However, it is Cyprus and Israel that are pushing us on this matter,' he said.
Thus speaks the Prime Minister, but Turkey's image, both internal and external, is increasingly causing scepticism and worry.
 Piri Reis launches its researches on Monday afternoonAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.09.11), Turkey's oil exploration vessel Piri Reis will begin its researches in the Mediterranean on Monday afternoon, an executive said.
Prof. Dr Huseyin Avni Benli, director of Dokuz Eylul University's Naval Sciences and Technology Institute, said the Piri Reis vessel is continuing its route towards the East Mediterranean.
"The vessel is expected to reach the research area in the afternoon and it will begin seismic studies there," Benli told an AA correspondent.
 Yildiz said that the Turkish Navy will escort Piri Reis, if necessaryAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.09.11), Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz told reporters on Saturday that Turkey was closely following the activities of the Government of the Republic of Cyprus.
Asked whether the Turkish Navy was escorting Piri Reis, Yildiz said that the Navy would escort if necessary, adding that the Turkish Foreign Ministry planned each step earlier.
Turkey's oil exploration vessel Piri Reis continues on its route towards the East Mediterranean. Named after worldwide famous Ottoman captain, geographer and cartographer Piri Reis, the vessel sailed off from the Urla Port in the western province of Izmir on Friday for East Mediterranean to explore for oil and natural gas.
 Kilicdaroglu said that the Piri Reis is an old ship unable to do its job- Milliyet reports that the ship did not have its engine and generator replacedTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris newspaper (25.09.11) reported that Kemal Kilicdaroglu, the chairman of the Republican People's Party (CHP) of Turkey, criticized the policy followed by the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) as regards the Republic of Cyprus exploration for oil and natural gas. He also criticized the decision of using the Koca Piri Reis vessel to conduct the necessary seismic surveys (examining beneath the sea floor) for oil drilling.
Kilicadoroglu, who made statements at the Esenboga airport, was replying to journalists' questions on the issue.
Describing the AKP policy as "a total surrender", Kilicdaroglu stated that the Piri Reis vessel is an old ship that cannot do the "job".
"In order to do our job we put out (to sail off) Piri Reis, a vessel which was left to us from the very past, a German ship which dated of the time of our grandparents", stated and added that it is clear that this job cannot be done.
In addition, under the title: "It took off without having its engine replaced", Turkish Milliyet (24.09.11) reported that Koca Piri Reis, which is a 33-year old ship, sailed off in order to conduct a two-week seismic survey for oil drilling in the Mediterranean Sea.
In statements to Milliyet, Professor Dr Huseyin Avni Benli, Director of the Department of Marine Sciences and Technology at Dokuz Eylul (Nine September) University (DEU), stated that Piri Reis, which was built at the Schiffweft Diedrich Oldersum Shipyard in 1976, was one of the most modern vessels of its kind at that time.
However, with the passing of time, its technology became obsolete. Due to this, the university applied to the State Planning Organization (DPT) for money to fix the ship. DPT replied that this year the ship will be overhauled and will be supplied with modern technology. In order to do so, the ship needed a new engine and a new generator. However, because the VAT for the engine, which cost one million Turkish Lira, was too high to be paid, the engine remained at the customs office and the ship did not have its engine replaced.
 The full text of the illegal agreement between Turkey and the breakaway regime on delimiting their "continental shelf"Under the title: "Here is the full text of the Continental Shelf Agreement between the TRNC and Turkey", Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (24.09.11) published the full text of the "agreement" between Turkey and the breakaway regime on delimiting their "continental shelf" as signed by the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu during their recent meeting in New York. The text is the following:
"The government of the Republic of Turkey and the government of the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus which from now on will be referred to as contracting parties,
Acting with wish to deepen and broaden their existing good neighbouring and friendly relations,
Wishing to establish the borders of the areas regarding their continental shelf in the Mediterranean Sea where they use their sovereign rights with the aim of exploring and exploiting the natural resources of the continental shelf of the sides,
Accepting that the delimitation of their continental shelf should be made according to the principles of justice taking into consideration their wish to achieve just and mutually accepted solutions within the spirit of constructive negotiations and good neighbourhood,
Have agreed on the following matters taking into consideration the relevant principles and rules of the international law:
The border of the continental shelf between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Turkey in the Mediterranean Sea passes from the points the coordinates of which are determined below:
1. 35-33-09.584N 32-16-18.000E
2. 35-33-41.913N 32-21-12.349E
3. 35-33-47.278N 32-31-50.801E
4. 35-35-38.364N 32-37-51.980E
5. 35-37-58.043N 32-46-34.195E
6. 35-39-53.677N 32-56-36.616E
7. 35-40-59.868N 33-02-50.096E
8. 35-40-55.189N 33-10-19.709E
9. 35-41-19.465N 33-19-40.157E
10. 35-40-58.546N 33-23-18.544E
11. 35-41-14.617N 33-32-33.838E
12. 35-41-45.874N 33-38-16.025E
13. 35-42-04.417N 33-45-08.528E
14. 35-42-29.670N 33-53-00.873E
15. 35-43-50.531N 34-02-48.043E
16. 35-45-06.627N 34-06-06.897E
17. 18.104.22.1688N 34-10-13.085E
18. 35-48-11.903N 34-14-21.393E
19. 35-49-46.780N 34-18-51.643E
20. 35-51-41.517N 34-24-51.492E
21. 35-52-57.081N 34-28-43.550E
22. 35-54-25.608N 34-33-30.506E
23. 35-54-42.208N 34-36-28.498E
24. 35-54-06.978N 34-40-56.920E
25. 35-52-55.052N 34-44-01.021E
26. 35-51-19.934N 34-46-40.603E
27. 35.49.09.889N 34-48-51.634E
As mentioned above, the contracting parties have agreed on the issue of determining the line delimiting their continental shelf until the point at the coordinates 35-49-09.889K and 34-48-51.634D in the east and the point 35-33-09.584K and 32-16-18D in the west.
They agreed also on the issue of conducting the delimitation towards the east of the point 35-49-09.889K and 34-48-51.634D, which is east of these coordinates, and towards the west of the point 35-33-09.584K and 32-16-18D, which is in the west, as well as the drawing of the line further than this through future agreements with the parties concerned according to the rules of the international law and the principles of justice.
The border line of the continental shelf between the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus and the Republic of Turkey, the coordinates of which are mentioned above, has been also shown in the naval map number TR30, which was published on 12 April 2008 and constitutes an inseparable part of this agreement.
The geographic coordinates mentioned in this agreement were noted as WGS 84.
In case reserves of natural resources are established in the sea bed or under the ground of the continental shelf in a manner that it enters into the continental shelf of both sides on the border established in Article 1 of this agreement, the contracting parties will carry out discussions in order to jointly determine the issue of how this reserve will be exploited in the most effective manner.
This agreement will not damage the legitimate, equal and inseparable rights of the Turkish Cypriots on the entire continental shelf of the island. The contracting parties will continue their efforts for finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus issue.
In case of a discrepancy on the issue of the interpretation and the implementation of this agreement, this discrepancy will be solved though negotiations with diplomatic means or other peaceful methods which will be based on the common consent of the sides.
This agreement will enter into effect as of the date of the exchange of the certificates of proof after it is approved by the states which are part of the agreement. This agreement was prepared in New York on 21 September 2011 in two copies in the Turkish language".
 Ozgurgun said that drilling will begin soonAccording to Ankara Anatolia news agency (25.09.11), self-styled minister of foreign affairs Huseyin Ozgurgun alleged that the "Greek Cypriot administration [Cyprus Government] did not have a legal right to begin oil and natural gas exploration unilaterally".
Ozgurgun also said that required coordinates were set and drilling for oil would soon begin in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus.
Ozgurgun said on Sunday that Turkey's seismic vessel Piri Reis was on its route, adding that coordinates, which were required to start exploration in the north of the island, were set.
"If the Greek Cypriot administration [Cyprus Government] sees the Turkish Cypriots as a minority in the island and makes exploration unilaterally, then Turkish Cypriots can begin exploration in the north of the island", Ozgurgun claimed.
He alleged that the "Greek Cypriot administration's stance would affect the Cyprus talks' process too".
 Amcaoglu on the "licence" of the TPAOAccording to illegal Bayrak television (online, 24.09.11), self-styled minister of agriculture and natural resources Ali Cetin Amcaoglu, speaking on "Bayrak", said that the so-called department of geology and mineral resources has the authority to issue "licensing" for oil and natural gas exploration. However, he added, the so-called council of ministers had issued the exploration "license" to the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) due to the importance of the issue in the international arena. He said that the "license" was issued only for exploration purposes and not for extraction or processing.
He also said that the "exploration license" issued to the TPAO was a component part of the "continental shelf delineation agreement" signed between the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and the Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan in New York.
 F-16 planes may be deployed in occupied Cyprus if necessaryTurkish daily Sabah newspaper (24.09.11) writes that ships of the Turkish naval forces will escort the Koca Piri Reis vessel on its seismic surveys for oil drilling in the Mediterranean and reports that, if necessary, F-16 planes may be deployed in occupied Cyprus.
The paper writes that Turkey is planning to deploy one or two F-16 in occupied Cyprus, due to the flights that Israel may conduct in order to protect the platform for the oil drilling.
 Talat comments on the "delineation agreement"Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (24.09.11) reported that the former Turkish Cypriot leader Mehmet Ali Talat was a guest in Serhat Incirli's TV show in Kibris TV. Talat commenting on the ongoing negotiations he said that "if Eroglu wants a solution, then Talat is an astronaut." Referring also to the research of carbohydrates that Turkey will start, he argued that no one really knows where they will research, not even the so-called prime minister Kucuk.
Moreover, he evaluated the recent "delineation agreement" between Turkey and the "TRNC" and said that it is the first time that he heard of such an agreement. He said that he is aware of the delineation of an exclusive economic zone and questioned whether the continental shelf can be "delineated." Also during an interview to Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (24.09.11) he said that if this "agreement" refers to the area between Turkey's south and Cyprus' north shores, as defining the area where each side can utilize the natural wealth, then it should be called an "EEZ delineation agreement".
 Bagis will visit the occupied area of Cyprus tonightTurkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (26.09.11) reports that Turkey's European Union (EU) Minister and Chief Negotiator Egemen Bagis, will visit the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus tonight.
According to information acquired by TAK's correspondent, Bagis is expected to deliver a speech at the illegal Eastern Mediterranean University (DAU) on the occasion of the launching of the new academic year 2011-2012. The title of his speech will be "The future of Europe and the role of Cyprus".
According to the paper, Bagis is also expected to carry out several contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus.
 Kucuk said that water will reach the occupied area in 2014According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.09.11), self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk said on Saturday that the "TRNC's [breakaway regime] image would change with the water that will come from Turkey via pipelines". He claimed that the water will reach the island on March 7, 2014.
He noted that Turkey already reserved the cost of the project, which was 450 million USD, and there would not be any delay in the project.
Kucuk said that the breakaway regime would receive 75 million cubic meters of water from Turkey annually, adding that 35-40 million cubic meters would be distributed to houses and the rest would be used for agriculture.
 New plan to "legalise" Turkish settlers and immigrants in the occupied areaTurkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (26.09.11) reports that the breakaway regime's "administration" decided to steer away from the "white card/ green card legislation" that they were preparing. The so-called minister of interior and local administration Nazim Cavusoglu announced that for the time being the issue has been "put on the self." He said that the issue was taken out of their agenda and instead now they focus on "pardon."
Cavusoglu said that very shortly there will be a pardon, which thousands of people are waiting. Also he said that in today's session of the breakaway's regime "assembly" they plan to present urgently their "draft" for battling the issue of people who live and work illegally in the occupied area. If the plan is approved today, it will be placed under vote next Monday and upon implementation, the interested persons will be able to use the pardon for a period of 3 months. Those who wish to be pardoned and remain in the occupied area will pay a fine equal to the minimum wage, whereas the ones who wish to leave, will pay a penalty up to half the amount of the minimum wage.
 "GAU" plans founding ceremony for new campus on November 15Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (26.09.11) reports that on the 15th of November, the founding stone of illegal GAU's "Karpasia Campus" will be laid in occupied Karpasia. The founding rector and board director of "Girne American University (GAU)" announced that the foundation ceremony of the 25 thousand sq. metre campus is scheduled to take place on November 15, the same day with the anniversary of the breakaway regime's "establishment."
 Five Greek Cypriots arrested in the occupied area of CyprusTurkish Cypriot daily Kibris (25.09.11) reported that "officials" of the so-called "hunting centre" which is bound to the "TRNC hunting federation" arrested yesterday morning five Greek Cypriots after they were found cutting down trees in the occupied Agia Trias village in occupied Trikomo.
According to the paper, the names of the five Greek Cypriots are: Giannis P. Fragkou, Giannis Varnava, Giannis C. Fragkou, Charalambos Fragkou and Themistoklis Fragkou.
The paper adds that the "officials" of the so-called "forest department" and the "police officers" of the "Leonarissos police station" who arrived in the area arrested the five Greek Cypriots and seized the timber machines being used for the cutting of the trees and two cars (vans) that were used for carrying the trees.
The so-called police have launched an investigation on the issue.
 "Marine border deal a 'political declaration,' results remain vague"Turkish daily Today's Zaman (online, 25.09.11) with the above title published, inter alia, the following article by Emine Kart:
"This week's signing of a continental shelf delimitation agreement between Turkey and the TRNC [breakaway regime] has made the headlines, which claim it is a bold move that has escalated the tension between Ankara and Greek Cyprus [Republic of Cyprus] over offshore gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean.
Yet, despite seeing eye-to-eye on the fact that the agreement constitutes a political declaration by Turkey in defending the Turkish Cypriots' rights to the end, experts speaking with Sunday's Zaman haven't drawn a clear picture in regards to what the concrete results of the agreement will be, at least in the short run.
Cagri Erhan, a professor of international relations from the faculty of sciences at Ankara University, first of all underlined that according to the Constitution, this agreement needs to be ratified by the Turkish Parliament.
'If not ratified, it has no meaning. In the current situation, this is a political reaction aimed at showing the seriousness of Turkey to the Greek Cypriots,' Erhan told Sunday's Zaman.
'The continental shelf is anyhow a right recognized by international law without any further arrangement. An exclusive economic zone [EEZ] agreement between Turkey and the TRNC would be much more effective in terms of its results,' Erhan said. Turkey has decided to begin its own gas exploration in the Eastern Mediterranean and to boost its military presence in the region after the Greek Cypriot Government vowed to go ahead with its plans to drill for gas in Cyprus' south.
Greek Cyprus marked out its EEZ following agreements with Egypt, Israel and Lebanon to delineate undersea borders.
'Legally, the hand of Greek Cyprus is very strong since it has taken necessary steps in regards to setting its EEZ very firmly. Turkey should also start a similar legal process by signing EEZ agreements,' Erhan argued, although noting that in the current situation it would be difficult for Turkey to draw a clear perspective in the Mediterranean due to Turkey's problems with coastal states such as Israel and Syria.
Mehmet Hasguler, an assistant professor at the 'European University of Lefke' in the TRNC, is convinced that the deal between Turkey and the TRNC is a step in the right direction, although it should have been taken earlier.
'The fundamental concern for signing this agreement is a political declaration by Ankara. Since it is not internationally recognized, the TRNC is not within the international legal bodies. But it is recognized by Turkey, which is trying to take the TRNC under the protection of international law by signing such an agreement,' Hasguler told Sunday's Zaman, while suggesting that the continental shelf agreement was actually a veiled declaration of an EEZ, too.
When asked whether Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots might be blamed for stalling the UN-led reunification negotiation process by this agreement, Hasguler said: 'It was Greek Cyprus that ignored the negotiation process and the rights of the Turkish Cypriot side from the beginning; nobody can put the blame on Turkey.'
Cigdem Naz, of the international relations department at Yildiz Technical University, argues that the cause of today's problem lies with the fact that Greek Cyprus was admitted into the EU in 2004 before a solution was reached regarding the political status on the island.
'This is just a follow-up to the problem that goes back to 2004. The problem will escalate when Greek Cyprus assumes the presidency next year. By that time both sides on the island need to come up with a solution, which will in turn solve the resource debate as well,' Naz told Sunday's Zaman.
'Turkey is the only country that recognizes the TRNC, so the shelf agreement may not be very meaningful to other countries. But Greek Cypriots have also been engaged in the drills unilaterally, causing a threat to Turkish sovereign rights in the region, and in that sense the Turkish move might be interpreted as an apt response to that. Turkey has the right to protect the TRNC's rights under its status as a guarantor state. Such a move from a guarantor state also indicates that Turkey wants to show Greek Cyprus that it is not the sole authority in the region. This looks like a controlled escalation of the tension, which will hopefully be resolved in the negotiation process between the Greek and Turkish communities of the island,' she said. 'Greek Cyprus is a country Turkey does not officially recognize, so its presidency in 2012 will be ripe with trouble from all sides. Greeks and Turks of the island do not look like they are speeding up the reunification process, but a new political solution is a must to counter the fallout of this resource debate,' Naz, nevertheless, maintained." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio