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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-09-27

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. 183/11 27.09.11 C O N T E N T S

  • [01] Ozersay alleges that the Turkish Cypriots do not need the Republic of Cyprus for being partners in the natural wealth of the island
  • [02] Piri Reis started explorations in an area reportedly close to the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus
  • [03] Arinc: "The EU should tell the Greek Cypriots to stop"
  • [04] Turkish Cypriot parties continue reacting on the "continental shelf delimitation agreement" signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime
  • [05] Bagis will brief the European Parliament and the European Commission on Cyprus' exploration for oil and natural gas
  • [06] Papandreou set to visit Ankara to upgrade ties
  • [07] Life threatening letter to Izzet Izcan
  • [08] Columnists argue that it is time Turkey put on the brakes
  • [09] Turkey signed information partnership deal with UK

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Bagis' contacts in the occupied area of Cyprus, more statements by Turkish Deputy Premier Bulent Arinc, the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk and Kudret Ozersay, "special representative" of the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu on the oil explorations in the Mediterranean, reaction statements by several "deputies" in the so-called assembly against the signing of the "continental shelf delimitation agreement" by Eroglu in New York, a life threatening letter being sent to Izzet Izcan, reports that Papandreou is to visit Ankara to upgrade ties with Turkey and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish Cypriot press.

    Information that Turkey's oil exploration vessel Piri Reis begun its researches in the Mediterranean on Monday afternoon, the telephone conversation between the Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou with his Turkish counterpart Tayyip Erdogan and the decision about Papandreou's visit to Turkey to upgrade bilateral ties in all fields late October or early November, and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by today's Turkish dailies.

    [01] Ozersay alleges that the Turkish Cypriots do not need the Republic of Cyprus for being partners in the natural wealth of the island

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.09.11) reports that Kudret Ozersay, special representative of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has argued that the Turkish Cypriot side invited the Greek Cypriots to carry out joint explorations for natural gas and to share the income from these explorations. In exclusive statements to Kibris, Ozersay said that if the Greek Cypriot side does not accept this, the Turkish side is ready to carry out explorations in an area including the south part of the island and if it obtains an income to share it with the Greek Cypriot side in the manner and time in which the Greek Cypriot side thinks to share with the Turkish Cypriots the income from its own exploration.

    Ozersay alleged that there is no debate in the international community on the issue of the Turkish Cypriots being partners in the natural gas on the entire island and claimed that the rights of the Turkish Cypriots will not change even in case of a solution or the "TRNC", breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, continues to exist or there is an agreed separation on the island.

    Ozersay alleged that the Turkish Cypriots do not need the Republic of Cyprus for being partners in the natural gas in the south part of the island. He argued that these rights will be arranged if a solution to the Cyprus problem is reached, that in case of an agreed separation these rights will be determined as a result of settling up of accounts within the framework of the 1960 partnership and that if the non-solution on the island continues the rights regarding the natural wealth will still exist.

    Ozersay claimed, inter alia, the following: "We have not abandoned any of our rights because we declared the TRNC in 1983. This should be well understood by everyone. I observe that in general there is a misunderstanding on this issue. However, either there is an agreed separation with the consent of the two sides or the TRNC is accepted as separate state, the Turkish Cypriots have rights in every part of the sea area of this island, not only in the northern part. Of course, it is not possible to say from now the scope of this right. However, everybody must understand that this right exists. This right exists independently of its acceptance by others. I think it is very useful to shortly explain the source of this right. First of all there are rights deriving from 1960. Now I am hearing some people wondering 'how we could still refer to the rights of 1960, if we have declared the TRNC or if we have decided to separate from the Greek Cypriots'.

    However, if we see the issue from the international law's point of view, it is not so simple. First of all, when I say that the rights deriving from 1960 continue, I do not mean that we have rights in the Greek Cypriot state that allegedly continues to exist today?When I refer to rights deriving from 1960, I mean the following: In spite of the fact that the 1960 partnership has been de facto eliminated, the two sides (the Turkish Cypriots and the Greek Cypriots) have not agreed on how this past partnership will be ended with the consent of both of them. The ending of partnerships in the international law is carried out according to the rules of succession?"

    Asked what will Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu do if the Greek Cypriot side rejects the proposal he submitted to the UN Secretary-General, Ozersay said that the Turkish side has three alternatives. He noted that the first preference of the Turkish side is for the UN Secretary-General to invite both sides to simultaneously end or postpone their initiatives (for oil and natural gas). In this case, he said, the agreements made by the Republic of Cyprus with various states and the agreement of the breakaway regime with Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) will be suspended. The second alternative, he said, will come onto the agenda in case the Greek Cypriot side does not accept their above proposal. This alternative, he noted, is included in the proposal submitted by Dervis Eroglu to the UN Secretary-General in New York and in brief it says that "come and let us explore and share together". If this proposal is accepted, he added, the written consent of both sides will be required for the unilateral agreements, contracts and permits of the sides and in this manner explorations with the consent of both sides will be carried out in both the north and the south area of the island even though no solution is reached.

    If this proposal is not accepted, noted Ozersay, the third alternative of the Turkish side will be implemented. "If I need to say it in a simple manner, this third alternative is 'I will explore in the areas and in the manner you explore and I will share in the manner you will share'", he noted and added: "That is, if our proposal is not accepted, we as Turkish Cypriot side are ready to explore in an area including the south of the island and in case we obtain income to share this wealth in the manner and time in which the Greek Cypriot side thinks to share with us".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Piri Reis started explorations in an area reportedly close to the EEZ of the Republic of Cyprus

    Under the title: "Piri Reis is in the south", Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (27.09.11) reports that the self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk stated last night that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) started geophysical exploration and gathering seismic data as of 26 September 2011 with the R/V/K Piri Reis vessel in a license area described as AR/KKTC/G.

    According to the paper, the above-mentioned area is in the south part of the island very close to the area where the Republic of Cyprus is carrying out its explorations.

    On its front page, Haberdar publishes a map of Cyprus showing the area where Piri Reis is carrying our explorations.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Arinc: "The EU should tell the Greek Cypriots to stop"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (26.09.11) reported on Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc statements. Arinc speaking to Euronews said: "I hope that the opposite side by showing such reckless behaviour will not put Turkey in a situation to use force," referring to Cyprus' oil and natural gas explorations.

    In his interview, Arinc said that the issue of oil research in the Mediterranean does not only pertain to "south Cyprus" [as he referred to the Republic of Cyprus] and Israel, but other countries have rights stemming from international law. One of these countries is Turkey, he said, and argued that Israel and Cyprus started exploration activities "which make Turkey and TRNC uneasy."

    Arinc also alleged that the fact that Piri Reis started researching in the Mediterranean under the protection of the Turkish Navy is not a gesture of raising the stakes but derives from international law. Moreover, he said that they don't send their ships to fight, but their mission is to protect and deter any action that contradicts the law. Arinc reiterated that they do not need to fight with anyone nor do they have such intentions, but warned the other side not to force Turkey to use its strength.

    Talking about his expectations from the European Union regarding the tension in the Mediterranean, Arinc said the following: "I think that the EU should harry in order to correct its mistake. Its mistake being that it accepted the south Greek Cypriot part as a member representing the whole island; maybe this is one of the biggest mistakes in EU's history. We have always stood by a united Cyprus. We believe that we must continue our diplomatic activities in this matter. [?]

    Now reality is this: there is a south Greek Cypriot part and is not entitled to represent the whole island. So when all of these activities are declared on behalf of Cyprus, first the EU must say 'let's see'. It must say 'You have no right to it'. And it must give permission to the Turkish side, to use their rights."

    Furthermore, referring to EU's rotating term presidency that Cyprus will undertake in the second half of 2012, Arinc said that in no way will the accession talks continue. He said that during this period, in case "the Greek Cypriot side" undertakes the presidency ?the "legitimacy" of which Turkey does not recognize- they will not sit in the negotiations table, because they know the existing objections and obstacles. "First unite and reach a state where you represent the whole island and after this we will sit in the table with you," claimed Arinc.

    [04] Turkish Cypriot parties continue reacting on the "continental shelf delimitation agreement" signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Halkin Sesi (27.09.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot parties of the opposition continue reacting on the "continental shelf delimitation agreement" signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime. The leaders of the parties, speaking yesterday at a convention of the self-styled assembly, criticized again Dervis Eroglu, the Turkish Cypriot leader, of not informing the "parliament" issue.

    Ferdi Sabit Soyer, self-styled deputy with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) expressed his criticism of the fact that the "agreement" has not yet placed into the agenda of the "assembly". Stating that Eroglu must go to the "assembly" and give information about the "agreement", Soyer said that the "parliament" must be involved on the issue.

    On his part, Serdar Denktas, the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) called on Eroglu to resign from his "position". He said that the "agreement" must urgently come into the "assembly" and said that nobody should act against the will of the "parliament".

    Mehmet Cakici the chairman of Social Democracy Party (TDP) said that Eroglu and the "government" are not authorized to sign such an "agreement" without informing the "parliament". He went on and added that the "government" behaves the way it suits it.

    Replying to the criticism, Irsen Kucuk, self styled prime minister, stated that Eroglu, prior to his visit to New York informed the "council of ministers" and that he will inform the "parliament" as well.

    [05] Bagis will brief the European Parliament and the European Commission on Cyprus' exploration for oil and natural gas

    According to Turkish Cypriot Kibris Postasi news website (27.09.11), the Turkish EU Minister and Chief Negotiator with the EU, Egemen Bagis who is illegally visiting the occupied area of Cyprus today, met this morning with the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu.

    In statements during the meeting, Bagis referred to the "agreement" signed recently in New York on the delimitation of the "continental shelf" between Turkey and the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Bagis argued that this "agreement" is a reflection of the mutual feelings of all political forces, government and opposition, in Turkey and the "TRNC", as he described the breakaway regime in the occupied area of Cyprus.

    Noting that they started implementing the "agreement", Bagis said that Turkey attaches great importance to the negotiations held by Eroglu with the aim of finding a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem. He added: "While all these efforts for a solution continue, while the negotiations continue, the fact that some circles have in a harry started this provocation as if the natural gas in the Mediterranean would go away, as if it would fly away is thought provoking. However, the EU member states should think about this more than us. I hope that by going to Strasbourg, we will have the opportunity to brief the EU Parliament and the European Commission within the framework of the information we obtained from you".

    Bagis alleged that they exert efforts for a solution between politically equal partners on the island and added that Turkey and the breakaway regime will always be together in every platform, just like they were recently in New York.

    He added: "Turkey and the TRNC will proceed together as a single fist. I hope a lasting solution is achieved on the island. Then we will exploit together all the wealth in the Mediterranean. We will return this beautiful island into a real centre of prosperity and abundance. Let everyone in the TRNC know that the Republic of Turkey will always be 100% behind you".

    In his statements, Eroglu alleged that they are sorry to see that their good will for a solution to the Cyprus problem does not exist in the other side. He said that they started to implement the "agreement" they signed with the Turkish Prime Minister in New York and the decisions they have taken. He reiterated that these are steps which they said that they would take if the Republic of Cyprus did not postpone its exploration for oil.

    (I/Ts.)

    [06] Papandreou set to visit Ankara to upgrade ties

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 26.09.11) with the above title reported, inter alia, the following:

    "Papandreou plans to visit Turkey to upgrade bilateral ties in all fields including tensions over the gas drilling issue, while Turkey started its seismic research on Monday.

    Despite regional tensions over a Greek Cypriot gas drilling operation in the Mediterranean, the Prime Ministers of Turkey and Greece have expressed commitments to push ahead with bilateral cooperation talks planned for the coming weeks.

    Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou, accompanied by a number of cabinet ministers, is set to visit Ankara to upgrade bilateral ties in all fields late October or early November. Greece's Papandreou called Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday and the two had 'a very cordial conversation, free of tensions', an official from Erdogan's office told the Hurriyet Daily News. The two Premiers planned to meet in New York last week, but Papandreou had to call off his visit due to the growing economic crisis at home. The Erdogan-Papandreou conversation came on the day Turkey's Piri Reis, an exploration vessel, began its seismic work in the Mediterranean. Papandreou said 'the situation should be handled with restraint', while Erdogan explained Ankara's views on the dispute and its concerns that the Greek Cypriot drilling drive would 'sabotage' U.N.-sponsored peace talks between the two Cypriot communities at a time when these have reached a critical stage.

    Erdogan said that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu's proposal on ending the crisis should be seriously considered. He also recalled the principle of using natural reserves of Cyprus following the reunification of the divided island. Both leaders indicated that the row should not impede the second meeting of the Turkey-Greece High-Level Cooperation Council, planned to be held either in October or November in Turkey, the official said. Huseyin Avni Benli, director of the institute that owns Piri Reis, said that seismic research has started. Benli said Turkish war jets and ships were closely watching their work. (?)"

    [07] Life threatening letter to Izzet Izcan

    Under the front-page title: "Life threat to Izcan", Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (27.09.11) reports that a threatening letter was sent to Izzet Izcan, Secretary General of the United Cyprus Party (BKP) who is a person who attracts attention due to his realistic approaches on the issue of oil and natural gas.

    According to a statement issued by BKP, the party officials will visit today the "chief of police" Gunay Ozan in order to submit to him the threatening letter and ask for measures to be taken.

    According to BKP, the party will make a more detailed statement on the issue after today's visit to the "chief of police".

    Speaking on the issue, Izcan stated to the paper the following: "3-4 days ago a letter has been left in front of the door of our party's offices writing "Izzet Izcan, chairman of BKP". There were English stamps on it, however, the signature was not clear. I do not think that this letter was sent through the post office. It must be given by hand, because there are not a lot of persons who know the new offices of our party. As soon as I opened the letter, there were photos and pictures of martyrs inside. While I was reading the letter I saw that it was writing that they will kill me like they did with the others. The threatening letter wrote: 'You are up next' and I sent it to the Central Committee of the party and we decided to make a complaint to the 'chief of police'. We will give a more detailed information to the press together with a copy of the letter as soon as we meet with the 'chief of police'".

    (AK)

    [08] Columnists argue that it is time Turkey put on the brakes

    Columnist Mehmet Ali Birand, writing in Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (online, 26.09.11), under the title: "It may be time to put on the brakes a little", published, inter alia, the following commentary:

    "Turkey's foreign policy actions and the Prime Minister's speeches have created the impression among both the international as well as the Turkish public that Ankara has begun showing its muscles for the first time and initiated a show of strength in the region.

    (?)

    Turkey today is viewed in many of the world's capitals as 'a country that is ready to engage in a contention or one that is even seeking an opportunity to do so'.

    In fact, nothing could be further from the truth.

    It is out of question for Ankara to use its armed forces unless provoked or utterly forced to do so. One reason for the emergence of such an image has to do with events pushing Turkey in this direction. Another reason is the desire to intimidate now, so as to prevent more dangerous situations that could eventually arise in the future. The point, however, that everyone highlights is the abundance of speeches and the continual mounting of tensions through the choice of words.

    The impression among the international public, in fact, began spreading with the conflict with Israel, the scuffle with Syria and southern Cyprus' [Republic of Cyprus] gas exploration initiative.

    Eyebrows have risen even further, when the statement is added on top that the 'Turkish presence in the Mediterranean is going to increase. The Turkish Navy's power is going to be reinforced'.

    It seems, however, that the time has arrived to put on the brakes.

    Even though such an image was born due to incidents not in Turkey, in the end, it is still we who have to pay the price.

    Particularly Ankara and the Foreign Ministry are displeased about this appearance. I personally felt this over one week in New York...

    It was the scuffle with Israel that most seriously disrupted Turkey's external image.

    (?)

    The gas exploration efforts of southern Cyprus have also produced increasing rumours that 'Ankara is muddying up the waters in the Mediterranean'.

    Officials from the Foreign Ministry ask 'What were we supposed to do? Tell them to go ahead and explore?' They point out that this development took place independently of Turkey and that Turkey was forced to flex its muscles in consequence.

    If one reason why southern Cyprus abruptly decided to explore for gas reserves at an unexpected moment is to increase tensions prior to negotiations in October, another reason is the rehearsals for next year's presidential elections. President Demetris Christofias wants to project the image of a strong President.

    On the other hand, it is an issue of curiosity how he will respond to the initiative of the TRNC [breakaway regime] on this matter.

    (?)

    No matter what, Cyprus has also paved the way for Turkey to wave its flag in the Mediterranean.

    Even if responsibility belongs to southern Cyprus, Turkey has to pay the bill for its sternness."

    On the same issue, columnist Barcin Yinanc, writing in HDN (online, 26.09.11), under the title: "Permanent election campaign or tactical strategy?", published, inter alia, the following commentary:

    "'I am no longer surprised by the surprise capacity of the Turkish Prime Minister', said an observer on Turkey who is based in Brussels. Yet, Turkey's policies continue to be a source of confusion in Brussels, which is understandable given the contradictory signals coming from Turkey. The Government's Syria policy has shifted 180 degrees. Turkish envoys, who were trying to convince Europeans of the need to soften the isolation policy toward Damascus, are now encouraging Brussels to implement stronger sanctions against Syria.

    Just a year ago, Turkey was seen as the main stumbling block against NATO's plans to adopt a missile defence system. Now, Turkey has become a key country for the implementation of this system as it has agreed to host the U.S. radars.

    Turkey's realignment with Western policies has pleasantly surprised Brussels, but it is in turn perplexed by the Prime Minister's harsh rhetoric on the Kurdish issue as well as the Cyprus problem.

    'It seems that Prime Minister [Recep Tayyip] Erdogan is in a permanent election campaign', said another Turkey observer in Brussels. Turkey observers find it hard to understand why he is opting for a military solution in contrast to the expectation that he would push ahead with his democratic opening following his huge election victory. The reaction to Greek Cyprus' decision to start drilling for natural gas is also seen as disproportionate.

    Greek Cypriot leader Demetris Christofias, who is in a difficult situation both at home and abroad, has proved to be successful at diverting the attention from himself to Ankara, which seems to have fallen into that trap by using a harsh rhetoric. Yet Christofias might be falling into his own trap as well.

    The Cyprus issue has long disappeared off the world's radar screen; military escalation could well put Cyprus back on the agenda, resulting in more pressure on both sides of the island to heat up the peace talks.

    There is ample experience on managing crisis diplomacy with the Turkey/Greece/Cyprus trio. Yet we have no track record on possible military escalation between Turkey and Israel. The Mavi Marmara experience showed that things can get out of control despite phone calls between three capitals.

    (?)

    At some stage (which will probably come following a change in government in Israel), realities on the ground are going to necessitate a reconciliation with Israel. At that stage, I would not be surprised if Turkey turns a blind eye to sharing the information coming from the radars based in Turkey with Israel and even starts negotiations to buy Israel's Arrow ballistic missile defence system."

    [09] Turkey signed information partnership deal with UK

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.09.11), the Turkish Minister for Economy Zafer Caglayan and British Secretary of State for Business, Innovation & Skills John Vincent Cable signed an information partnership agreement after a meeting between Turkish and British delegations in Ankara.

    Caglayan said that this agreement would create new opportunities and new commercial developments between Turkey and the United Kingdom.

    "Turkey-United Kingdom trade volume reached $12 billion in 2010. Our trade volume continued to rise in 2011. Turkey's exports to the United Kingdom increased to $4.6 billion and imports rose to $3.4 billion in the January-July period of the year. Now, the information partnership agreement we signed today will create new opportunities and new commercial developments between Turkey and the United Kingdom. Our target is to double the trade volume till 2015. 2,304 British firms have made investments worth of $4.1 billion in Turkey while the number of Turkish firms investing in the United Kingdom has risen to 100," Caglayan said at the signing ceremony.

    "Under the information partnership agreement, we will carry out several projects especially in energy and energy productivity. Turkey is planning to make energy investments worth of $120 billion in the next ten years," he said.

    "We will also work out our project for Istanbul as a regional finance centre. We want to benefit from the United Kingdom's experiences to this matter", he added.

    British Secretary Cable, on his part, said that they considered Turkey as a strategic partner. He said that they wanted to cooperate with Turkey especially in countries. "We can also cooperate in energy and finance", Cable added. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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