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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-10-24

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. 202/11 22-24.10.11 C O N T E N T S TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu: President Christofias does not have the courage to sign an agreement
  • [02] Eroglu's statements after the last meeting between the leaders before New York
  • [03] Dincer's contacts during his illegal visit in the occupied area
  • [04] Ankara sends one more ship to explore for gas; TPAO will buy a ship to conduct seismic exploration as well
  • [05] Ulucay held contacts at the European Parliament
  • [06] Cakici said that another 100.000 persons are to become "TRNC citizens"
  • [07] Incidents at illegal YDU; Kurdish students clashed with Grey Wolves
  • [08] The property compensation commission" to extend the deadline for applications
  • [09] Earthquake hits Turkey; death toll rises over 200
  • [10] Operation against PKK continues
  • [11] "Storm in a teacup?"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Statements by Dervis Eroglu evaluating the forthcoming meeting in New York within the framework of the Cyprus talks, the illegal visits of the Turkish Minister of Education and a delegation from the Turkish Grand National Assembly to the occupied area of Cyprus, a conflict between Turkish and Kurdish students at illegal YDU university, statements by the Turkish Energy Minister on the Turkish seismic explorations for oil and natural gas in the Mediterranean Sea, and other internal matters are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend. The papers also refer to the reaction of Turkish Cypriot political parties against the sending away of Kurdish students who were involved in the incidents at "YDU", and to the increased number of tourists who visited the occupied area of the island during summer 2011.

    Reports about the earthquake in the eastern province of Van and the efforts made by the Turkish government to assist the victims, Turkish military's operations into northern Iraq to hunt down PKK, statements by the Turkish minister of Energy Yildiz that a Turkish seismic research ship is scheduled to set sail for the Mediterranean to explore for hydrocarbon resources and other internal issues are some of the main stories covered by Turkish dailies over the weekend.

    [01] Eroglu: President Christofias does not have the courage to sign an agreement

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (24.10.11) reports that Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, commenting on domestic and foreign issues during a television programme on illegal Bayrak TV, claimed that the Greek Cypriot side insists that all 165.000 Greek Cypriot refugees must return to their homes and added that if this happened, then no room would be left for Turkish Cypriots.

    Replying to President Christofias' statement, "let all the settlers return to Turkey", Eroglu said that "the TRNC [translator's note: the breakaway regime in the north part of the Republic of Cyprus] is a state and has the right to make decisions. No state can throw its citizens out on the street".

    Noting that no statement was issued after Friday's Cyprus National Council talks ahead of the meeting in New York, Eroglu claimed that President Christofias is going to New York without having the courage to sign an agreement.

    Noting that "under no circumstances will the Turkish Cypriot side say yes to every demand of the Greek Cypriot side", Eroglu claimed that the Turkish Cypriot side has taken important steps in six chapters discussed during the negotiations.

    Noting that the New York meeting is an important juncture and carries huge importance for the future, Eroglu added that for this reason, he and his team have been working continuously.

    Commenting on Cyprus drilling activities for oil and natural gas, Eroglu reiterated that he had asked President Christofias to postpone these activities so that no problems are created in the negotiating process. However, he added, President Christofias did not accept it.

    Eroglu also explained that the self-styled government was informed, before the signing of the "continental shelf delimitation agreement" between Turkey and the breakaway regime. He argued that it is a very important "agreement" and called on the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and the Social Democracy Party (TDP) to revise their decisions, because, he claimed that the message that they would give to the world is very important.

    [02] Eroglu's statements after the last meeting between the leaders before New York

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (22.10.11, online) reports that on Friday took place the last meeting between President Demetris Christofias and the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu, before both head off to New York next week to meet with UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. Friday's meeting was the last of a series of intensified talks since the last tripartite meeting in Geneva on the 7th of July.

    Speaking to reporters after the 5-hour meeting, Eroglu said that the meeting, compared to Wednesday's meeting had been more productive. He also said that he was optimistic about the upcoming tripartite meeting, expressing his belief that a positive outcome will be reached.

    He reiterated the allegation that the Turkish Cypriot side had once again demonstrated its good will and sincere attitude at the talks by bringing new proposals to the table yesterday. He said that a series of discussions had been held on newly made proposals and alleged that the Greek Cypriot side continued to repeat the same views. "We are aiming to reach a solution, one that will be comfortably accepted by the Cyprus Turkish people" he added.

    Responding to a question concerning progress at the talks, Eroglu said that they had succeeded in achieving convergences in several areas but that some differences or divergences still existed on the main chapters. He, however, reassured reporters that he and his team will only be seeking to reach an agreement that will be accepted by the Turkish Cypriot "people".

    [03] Dincer's contacts during his illegal visit in the occupied area

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (21.10.11, online) reports that the Turkish Minister for National Education Omer Dincer, who arrived in the occupied area Thursday night as guest of Kemal Durust, started his contacts on Friday.

    Dincer first met with Durust, the so-called minister of national education, youth and sports, who expressed his belief that the education system of the breakaway regime will be further improved with the contributions of Turkey.

    For his part, the Turkish Minister reminded that his visit to the occupied area was his first foreign visit since taking on his post. He noted that a good education system is the key to solving a country's fundamental problems and said that Turkey will continue to support the breakaway regime in all fields, particularly in the field of education.

    Later on, Dincer attended the opening ceremonies of the "Guzelyurt Ataturk Maarif Nursery School" [in occupied Morfou] and the "0skele Nursery School" [in occupied Trikomo]. The schools have been constructed with Turkey's financial support.

    Dincer also met with Eroglu and expressed Turkey's continued support to "the Cyprus Turkish people's struggle for freedom and equality." Also during his meeting with Kucuk, he commented on the exploration activities that the Republic of Cyprus has started. He described them as "provocative" and expressed the hope that the negotiations process will be concluded successfully.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (22.10.11) reports that at the presence of Dincer Turkey and the breakaway regime signed a cooperation protocol on financial assistance program. The program is financed by Turkey's Aid Delegation in occupied Lefkosia and assisted by Cukurova Development Agency. The protocol envisages strengthening of competitiveness, added value of products, and production efficiency through a financial support project targeting SMEs with a budget of 3 million Turkish Liras. Additionally, 5 million TL will be allocated to a financial support program for agricultural and rural development.

    [04] Ankara sends one more ship to explore for gas; TPAO will buy a ship to conduct seismic exploration as well

    Turkish daily Hurriyet daily news (23.10.11) publishes statements by Taner Yildiz, the Turkish Minister of Energy, who said that the number of Turkish exploratory ships in the Mediterranean will rise to three as another vessel, prospecting for oil and gas, sets sail.

    "The ship will set sail from Turkey's southern Antalya port to carry out 3-D seismic research this morning [editor's note: Monday], Energy Minister Taner Yildiz told the Anatolia news agency on Saturday. The ship will prospect for gas and oil in a 1,100-square-kilometer area and stay for 40 days in the Mediterranean, Yildiz said, adding that Turkey's Piri Reis ship had conducted 2-D research over a 2,100-square-kilometer area and would continue its research.

    Yildiz also stated that Piri Reis will also continue its gas exploration activities. Turkey has another ship prospecting for gas and oil in the Mediterranean after an agreement with an international company, which has not been made public yet, Yildiz said. "So, as of tomorrow [editor's note: Monday], we will have three vessels in the Mediterranean."

    "The gas exploration will continue off the north and south and even off the western parts of the island (Cyprus)," he added.

    In addition, Turkish daily Zaman (24.10.11) reports that the Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) is getting ready to buy another seismic ship. The ship will primarily conduct exploration in Turkish territorial waters but when the need arises it will conduct exploration in international waters as well. The cost of the ship will be approximately 150 million dollars.

    Meanwhile, Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (24.10.11) reports the name of the ship which will sail today from the port of Antalya is Oceanic Challenger, and belongs to the Norwegian CGG Veritas company. The other ship named Bergen, which conducts exploration with Piri Reis, also belongs to the same company.

    [05] Ulucay held contacts at the European Parliament

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (22.10.11, online) reports that the so-called MP with the Republican Turkish Party-United Forces (CTP-BG), Teberruken Ulucay has held a series of contacts at the European Parliament in Brussels.

    In a statement before leaving Brussels, Ulucay claimed that members of the EP have serious concerns over the drilling activities for oil and natural gas in the Eastern Mediterranean, fearing that these activities could lead to a crisis that could spread to neighbouring countries.

    He also alleged that most MEPs share the view that the exploration crisis will rather encourage the non-solution and permanent partition of the island, rather than contribute to a settlement.

    [06] Cakici said that another 100.000 persons are to become "TRNC citizens"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Star Kibris (22.10.11) reports that Mehmet Cakici, the chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP) stated that another 100.000 persons will become "TRNC citizens" in case the new "citizenship law" passes in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus and added: "If this policy is not stopped, the loss of the Turkish Cypriots will be felt grievously".

    Cakici made these statements during a meeting he held with a delegation of the Turkish Cypriot Secondary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOEOS) and Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS).

    Cakici also stated that the "continental shelf delimitation agreement" signed between Turkey and the breakaway regime advocates the non-solution and serves the division of Cyprus.

    Speaking during the meeting, Guven Varoglu, chairman of KTOEOS stated that Cyprus should be reunited and the Turkish Cypriots must stand on their feet. He also stated that they will continue with TDP and other platforms their struggle for this direction. Referring to the drilling for gas and oil by the Republic of Cyprus, Varoglu argued that it is not right and added that the Greek and the Turkish Cypriots must share the natural wealth of Cyprus.

    [07] Incidents at illegal YDU; Kurdish students clashed with Grey Wolves

    Main topics in all Turkish Cypriot dailies (22.10.11) are the incidents occurred on Friday at the illegal Near East University (YDU), when a group of Kurdish students studying there, skirmished with the group of "Grey Wolves" who were gathered in order to commemorate the 24 soldiers who died after an attack by the Kurdish workers' Party (PKK) in Turkey.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (22.10.11) covers the issue under the title "Bloody day at YDU".

    The paper cites information acquired by illegal TAK and reports that a group of students, who wanted to demonstrate in order to condemn the PKK attack in Turkey, clamoured with another group of protesters, members of the "Grey Wolves". The incidents ended after the intervention of the so-called police which were forced to open fire. Two "police officers" were injured and 4 students were arrested, writes the paper and adds that a lot of damages were observed in cars and buildings.

    Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (23.10.11) continues to cover the issue with the front-page title "deportation for 4 Kurds". The paper writes that the 4 students of Kurdish origin, who were detained due to the incidents at illegal YDU, were deported hurriedly in spite of the decision of a "court" that ordered them to remain under custody for three days.

    Meanwhile, as the paper reports, a group of "Grey Wolves" after the incidents at illegal YDU, organized yesterday (Saturday) protested in occupied Famagusta, Lefkosia and Keryneia. The protesters were shouting slogans such as "Tit for Tat, blood for blood, revenge" etc. The protest will continue today at the illegal YDU, writes the paper.

    Afrika (24.10.11) reports in its front page that the New Cyprus Party (YKP) and the United Cyprus Party (BKP), issuing separate written statements, reacted against the helter-skelter deportation of the Kurdish students.

    Commenting on the issue, Abdullah Korkmazhan, organizing secretary of the BKP, condemned the efforts of the AKP Government in Turkey to solve the PKK issue with combat operations and protested against the deportation of the Kurdish students.

    Also, Murat Kanatli, secretary of the executive committee of the YKP condemned the fact that after the incidents only Kurdish students were arrested and stated that the slogan, shouted by the "Grey Wolves" during their protest and after the incidents that "We will massacre you in Cyprus", was overlooked by the so-called police. According to Kanatli, the decision of the so-called police to excel the Kurdish students, despite the decision of the "court", was another political pressure.

    Finally, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (24.10.11) report that 25 students of Kurdish origin, were sent away from the occupied area of Cyprus after the incidents at illegal YDU. "Experts" told Yeni Duzen that the self-styled council of ministers has the authority to "deport criminals". The same experts, however, expressed the belief that the "government" possess no evidence, proving relation of the above-mentioned students with the PKK.

    (AK)

    [08] The property compensation commission" to extend the deadline for applications

    According to Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (23.10.11), the property compensation commission", which was established in the occupied area of Cyprus according to the "law" which envisages for compensation, return and exchange of occupied Greek Cypriot is preparing to extend the deadline which was given for killing applications to the "commission", due to the increase in the number of applications. The deadline ends in December 21, 2011 and it is expected to be extended for two more years, i.e. until December 2013.

    In statements to Haberdar, Gungor Gunkan, Chairperson of the "commission", confirmed that they have launched preparations for extending the deadline of the "commission's" work. He said they will soon submit a suggestion to the Turkish Cypriot leader Eroglu, the so-called prime minister and the self-styled assembly.

    (AK)

    [09] Earthquake hits Turkey; death toll rises over 200

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (24.10.11, online) reports that more than 200 people were confirmed killed and hundreds more feared dead after an earthquake hit parts of southeast Turkey on Sunday with rescue teams working through the night to free trapped survivors.

    Rescue teams sift through rubble of flattened multi-storey buildings to try to reach dozens of people believed trapped beneath after a 7.2-magnitude earthquake struck eastern Turkey. The Interior Minister said the death toll in the powerful quake has increased to 217.

    Overseeing emergency operations in Ercis, one the worst hit towns, Sahin said 117 people were confirmed dead in Ercis and 100 in Van city, the provincial capital. A total of 1,090 people were known to have been injured by the quake on Sunday afternoon, he said.

    The Istanbul-based Kandilli seismology centre originally reported that the magnitude was 6.6, but later corrected it to 7.2. The quake occurred at 1:41 p.m. Its epicentre was in the village of Tabanli in the eastern province of Van, bordering Iran, but the quake was also felt in the province's city centre as well as the neighbouring provinces of Bitlis, Mus, Batman, Diyarbakir and Hakkari. The quake struck at a depth of 5 kilometres. Kandilli Director Professor Mustafa Erdik also said the quake caused the most serious damage in Van and Ercis and they predicted the death toll to be as high as 1,000.

    Rescue efforts went deep into the night under generator-powered floodlights. Workers tied steel rods around large concrete slabs in Van, and then lifted them with heavy machinery. International offers of aid poured in from NATO, China, Japan, the United States, Azerbaijan, European countries and Israel.

    [10] Operation against PKK continues

    Turkish daily Today's Zaman (23.10.11, online) reports that Turkey has killed almost 100 militants of the Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) in offensives against the PKK over the past four days, while the top generals who are leading military operations in the country's Southeast vowed not to return to Ankara before accomplishing their mission. The militants were killed in the offensives of the past four days on Turkey's border with Iraq and cross-border operations against PKK hideouts in northern Iraq.

    "Forty-nine PKK terrorists were killed in the Kazan Valley region near the town of Cukurca in Hakkari province, which borders Iraq," the military said in a statement posted on its website on Saturday, which brought to the total number of PKK militants killed since operations were launched last Wednesday to 93. On Wednesday Turkey launched anti-PKK offensives involving some 10,000 troops both in south-eastern Turkey and across the border in Iraq. The military operations began hours after 24 soldiers were killed in Cukurca by the PKK in simultaneous attacks, the highest death toll of a single attack on the military since the 1990s.

    Turkey's top commanders, Chief of General Staff. Gen. Necdet Ozel and four force commanders who rushed to Hakkari in the aftermath of Wednesday's PKK attacks, are still in the region to oversee the anti-PKK offensive and have no plans to return to Ankara until the offensive is successfully completed.

    The current offensive is the largest attack on the PKK in more than three years. In the aftermath of Wednesday's attack, which sent shockwaves across the nation, Turkish leaders vowed revenge. "Those who caused us to suffer this pain will suffer equally. Those who assume that they can shake the Turkish state in this way will see that our revenge for these attacks will be great," President Abdullah Gul said.

    [11] "Storm in a teacup?"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (23.10.11, online) publishes the following article by Dogu Ergil:

    "Unfortunately, Turkey's intention to reduce its problems with its neighbors to the minimum has not been successful enough.

    Iran has been a strategic rival of Turkey in the Middle East, the Caucasus and Central Asia rather than a partner. The incompatibility of their regimes and political ambitions in the spheres they aspire to influence has caused relations to cool except perhaps mutual economic concerns.

    The Kurdistan Workers' Party's (PKK) presence in Iraq is disturbing, but so far Baghdad along with Arbil have been reluctant to cooperate in ousting this armed outfit from their territory. Relations with Syria have soured because of the genocidal treatment of the government against dissidents of the regime who are demanding democratic reforms. Cyprus has always been a thorn in the side of Turkey. But now Greece is supporting the Greek Cypriot [editor's note: the columnist refers to the Republic of Cyprus] government in its endeavor to drill for oil and gas in the eastern Mediterranean together with Israel. Turkey's contentious relations with Israel, a one-time ally, leave little room for words.

    On Dec. 17, 2010, the Greek Cypriot and Israeli governments signed an agreement on the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Cyprus and Israel. The initiative was immediately endorsed by the European Union and the United States. The Greek Cypriot government also came to an agreement on the delimitation of the EEZ with Egypt, Lebanon and Syria. Gas reserves are reported to have been explored off both the Haifa coastline close to Israel and off the coastline of Cyprus.

    The cooperation between Greek Cypriots and Israelis has upset the Turkish government on two grounds: 1. The island is a bi-zonal, bi-communal entity and the interests of the Turkish community are not heeded. Any deal should have involved the Turkish Cypriots, too. 2. There is a legal and actual uncertainty dividing and demarcating the continental shelf and economic zones in the east Mediterranean. Some of the zones that are planned to be exploited are overlapping. Before any attempt can be made to explore the seabed riches, a consensus among riparian countries must be reached.

    To emphasize its wish to be either a partner or to abort the initiative, the incumbent Turkish government declared that it would send its navy to protect its national interests in the region. Greece's reaction was coupled by the Russians, who declared their support of Greek interests. Russians will soon send an aircraft carrier to the same region.

    If the Russians step in, would there be a countervailing power to contain the escalation? Since the end of the Cold War, an American presence in the eastern Mediterranean has been scarce. This means Turkey may find itself alone.

    So far information indicates that the resources discovered by the parties of the bilateral EEZ are rather plentiful off the coast of Cyprus. Similarly it is reported that the US-Israeli energy consortium has made an equally big discovery off of Israel's coast. Naturally Europe is excited together with the Greek Cypriots and Greece because the continent is hungry for new energy supplies and suffers from dependence on Russian gas.

    However, Turkey's concern is not only about being "left out." The Turkish government aspires to establish the country as a dependable regional hub between oil and gas producers in Asia and consuming countries in Europe and the Near East. Given this aspiration, Turkey's strategy could be upset if and when the Cyprus and Israeli reserves are developed.

    Furthermore, Turkey's wish to be an international actor can only be fulfilled if it becomes a regional power. Its recent appeal to the Arab world is a part of such a strategy. This has put Turkey into a confrontational position with Israel and Iran. Israel is a nuclear power; Iran is close to it (2015). This may urge Turkey to seek nuclear capacity if it is threatened by either or both countries. Doing so, some may believe, will enhance Turkey's dominant role in the region.

    Of course these are all hypothetical. If Turkey treads this road and seeks confrontation rather than cooperation in the Middle East, would its alliance with the US and its membership bid with the EU be lasting?

    I am sure Turkey's leaders have plausible answers to these questions when they declare that they may send the navy to back up their statements. Do other countries have navies, too?" TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EI


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