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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-11-21

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. 221/11 19-21.11.11

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Gul will ask Britain to "exert its influence" on the Cyprus problem
  • [02] Eroglu travels to Brussels; plans to inform Turkish Cypriot "assembly" upon return
  • [03] Yektaoglu says the UN wants numbers on the issue of the citizenship
  • [04] Ertug reacts to the disclosure of "secret documents" regarding the Cyprus problem by Yektaoglu
  • [05] Turkish Deputy Speaker calls members of OIC to foster relations with the breakaway regime
  • [06] Turkish Minister says Turkey will fully use its sovereign rights in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Aegean
  • [07] BKP and KTOS are against the opening of a theology school
  • [08] A research by "KITOB" on tourism
  • [09] Turkish bus attacked in Syria
  • [10] "Abandoning the old paradigm in the Cyprus dispute"

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    The Turkish press reports over the weekend about the increased tension between Turkey and Syria. The papers also note that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul and the Syrian leader Assad gave interviews to Sunday Telegraph and Sunday Times accordingly emphasizing their positions and further increasing tension. The papers also write about Gul's visit in the UK and his contacts there. Finally the Turkish newspapers have long articles about the aftermath of the Van earthquake and how the survivors deal with the difficulties occurred after the incident.

    The visit of Eroglu to Brussels where he will meet with Jose Manuel Barosso and other officials, reference to Cyprus by Gul prior to his departure for London, comments by CTP's 'MP" Mustafa Yektaoglu on the minutes of the New York summit sent by Eroglu to the "assembly", reaction by the BKP to the teaching of Koran lessons in the occupied area of Cyprus, and other internal matters are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the weekend. The papers refer also to a survey showing increase of the occupancy rate of the hotels in the occupied area of Cyprus, and to activities for peace which will be organized by the Republican Turkish Party with the participation of people from both communities.

    [01] Gul will ask Britain to "exert its influence" on the Cyprus problem

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (21.11.11) reports that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul has said that during his official contacts in London he would ask Britain, which is a guarantor power in Cyprus, to "exert its influence" in the direction of the solution of the Cyprus problem.

    In statements at Esenboga Airport before departing for London, Gul said he was visiting the UK upon an invitation by Queen Elisabeth II, and added that he would be accompanied by Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan, Foreign Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, the second Chief of the General Staff General Hulusi Akar, MPs, academicians and journalists.

    Gul said he was proud of holding the first visit at presidential level from Turkey to Britain after 23 years. He said he would, inter alia, meet with the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg and the leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband.

    Gul noted that he would address representatives of parties in the British Parliament and hold a meeting with MPs, including members of the Group of the Friends of Turkey. He added that he would also give interviews to the Guardian newspaper and the BBC.

    Referring to the content of his contacts, Gul said he would discuss all the aspects of their relations with Britain and touch upon regional and international issues which are on their joint agenda and mainly the EU and Cyprus. He added: "On this occasion, I will express our satisfaction with the stance of Britain, which exerts strong and visible support to our accession into the EU, and stress the importance we attach to the continuation of Britain's strong support so that the accession talks are not interrupted because of artificial political obstacles. I will demand from Britain, which is a side in the Cyprus problem, to exert its influence as guarantor power in the direction of the solution".

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu travels to Brussels; plans to inform Turkish Cypriot "assembly" upon return

    Turkish Cypriot illegal Bayrak television (19.11.11, online) reported that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu will be flying to Brussels today, in order to inform EU officials on the negotiations process. As part of his contacts, Eroglu will meet with the President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barosso and other EU officials. Upon completion of his contacts, he will return to Cyprus on Wednesday, the 23rd of November.

    The Turkish Cypriot leader has also announced that he will be informing the breakaway regime's assembly. On the 1st of December, Eroglu will attend an extraordinary session and inform the so-called MP's regarding the latest developments of the Cyprus negotiations process.

    [03] Yektaoglu says the UN wants numbers on the issue of the citizenship

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (19.11.11) reports that Mustafa Yektaoglu, self-styled "MP" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP) and deputy "speaker" of the "assembly" of the breakaway regime, has said that they read the minutes of the tripartite summit in New York, but they could not acquire information, because the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu and President Christofias are almost "talking just for talking".

    Yektaoglu shared with Yeni Duzen's editor-in-chief, Cenk Mutluyakali his impressions from reading the minutes.

    Yektaoglu argued that the special advisors of the leaders, George Iacovou and Kudret Ozersay, are the ones who discuss the real content of the negotiations. He noted that the minutes of these meetings are not sent to the "assembly".

    Yektaoglu said: "The UN wants numbers now on the issue of the citizenship. The implementation of an arbitrary practice by the Turkish Cypriot side has started to constitute a danger that could go as far as eliminating our right for a referendum. This is a great danger, because the increase in the number of the citizens could be by a certain percentage. If you register as many citizens as you like and afterwards you say that all of them will become citizens of the new state, no one will accept this. The UN wants the numbers of the citizens to be put onto the table openly for the summit in January. This is one of the results of the New York summit which are hidden. The UN says 'bring the number of the citizens and put it onto the table'. It is very interesting that Eroglu makes a defence over his own offense. He even tries to praise himself over this offense. He says that 'we do not give arbitrarily our citizenship; hundreds of citizenships have been annulled by the court'. However, he hides that his own signature exists under the citizenships that have been annulled. The UN and the world, however, know this?"

    Yektaoglu argued that "lack of will" exists in both leaders and added that President Christofias had clearly told the UN Secretary-General that he did not want to participate in the summit in January if there was no progress in the talks. Yektaoglu noted, that on every issue for which the UN said that "there is progress and it came to the final stage", either Eroglu or President Christofias were interfering referring to "deep differences".

    Yektaoglu said that the agreements, which had been achieved between President Christofias and former Turkish Cypriot leader Talat, were spoiled. He noted that the UN Secretary-General told the leaders to agree on all issues except for the territory and the map before the summit in January.

    Referring to the issue of the rotating presidency and the cross voting, Yektaoglu said that the Turkish side suggested rotating presidency for a period of 72 months, in which a Greek Cypriot will be president for 50 months and a Turkish Cypriot for 22 months. He noted that President Christofias suggested a five-year term for the president, a Greek Cypriot president for four years and a Turkish Cypriot for one year and the cross voting to start in the elections which will be held after these five years.

    Yektaoglu argued also that President Christofias wants the return of 100 thousand Greek Cypriot refugees (under Greek Cypriot administration) and noted that he would not discuss the property before seeing the territory.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Ertug reacts to the disclosure of "secret documents" regarding the Cyprus problem by Yektaoglu

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (21.11.11) reports that Osman Ertug, spokesman of the Turkish Cypriot leader, has argued that the Turkish Cypriot side has respected the principle of confidentiality which is implemented in the Cyprus talks until today and reacted to the publication of information regarding the content of the negotiations in a newspaper, which is the mouthpiece of a political party. Referring to the statements made to Yeni Duzen newspaper by Mustafa Yektaoglu, self-styled "MP" with the Republican Turkish Party (CTP), Ertug said yesterday it is unacceptable to reveal to the press information contained in "very confidential" documents. He noted that when the parties ask from Eroglu to brief them, they should use responsibly the information they acquire and respect confidentiality. He said it is clear that this will put the Turkish Cypriot side in a difficult situation in front of the UN.

    Meanwhile, the chairman of the Democratic Party (DP) Serdar Denktas has also described as "wrong behaviour" the disclosure of very confidential documents which are sent to the "assembly".

    (I/Ts.)

    [05] Turkish Deputy Speaker calls members of OIC to foster relations with the breakaway regime

    Ankara Anatolia news agency reported from Ankara (20.11.11) that the 26th Meeting of the Executive Board of Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation was held in Turkish capital on Sunday. Speaking at the inauguration of the meeting held at the Rixos Hotel, Deputy Speaker of Turkish Parliament Mehmet Saglam said that the world has become a global village in the 21st century where every country is tied to each other.

    "There is a need to be more active in the international arena. Countries that shape developments are at the forefront in global relations," said Saglam, adding that parliamentarians must play a crucial role in foreign policies as diplomats.

    Saglam argued that the Islamic world is going through an important period and that Islamic countries themselves can find solutions to their problems. He also said that Turkey will continue to extend support to Palestine.

    Additionally, Saglam made a call on Islamic countries to have more contacts with the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC)" [the breakaway regime in the occupied part of Cyprus].

    [06] Turkish Minister says Turkey will fully use its sovereign rights in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Aegean

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (21.11.11) reports that the Turkish Minister of Transport, Maritime and Communications, Binali Yildirim has said that Turkey will fully use its sovereign rights in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Aegean. Responding to questions of journalists in the city of Denizli, Yildirim noted: "Turkey fully uses its sovereign rights in the Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Aegean, that is in all the seas in which it has borders. We will never accept any limitation in this? If exploration will be conducted in Cyprus, both the north and the south should equally benefit from the rights that will be obtained? We could never remain spectators to any fait accompli".

    (I/Ts.)

    [07] BKP and KTOS are against the opening of a theology school

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (21.11.11) reports that the youth branch of the United Cyprus Party (BKP), stated that it is against the establishment of a school of theology and Quran lessons in occupied Cyprus. BKP's youth branch noted that the establishment of a theology school, at the illegal "Near East University" (YDU) and at the vocational high school in occupied Mia Milia village, is an imposition of the Justice and Development Party (AKP) in Turkey.

    The chairman of the BKP's youth branch Kemal Gulercan, said that with this practice AKP is trying to annihilate the Turkish Cypriots, who are a secular community which does not practice religion.

    In addition, Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (21.11.11) reports also that the education secretary of the Turkish Cypriot Primary School Teachers' Trade Union (KTOS) Mustafa Ozhur, reacted strongly against the establishment of a school of theology and the Quran lessons as well and criticized the self-styled government for taking such a decision. Ozhur stated that the opening of these schools is actually an imposition of religion and of Imam Hatip schools and added that KTOS will not accept these actions.

    [08] A research by "KITOB" on tourism

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (21.11.11) reports that according to a research conducted by the 88 hotel-members of the "North Cyprus Hoteliers Association" ("KITOB"), the occupancy rates of these 88 hotels in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus in July 2011 reached 62% compared to 49% in July 2010.

    According to the research, 902,000 people visited the occupied area during 2010 and the income of the breakaway regime from tourism was 393.5 million dollars for the same period.

    The research also showed that the majority of tourists come from Britain, Germany, Netherlands, Italy and Turkey.

    [09] Turkish bus attacked in Syria

    Turkish NTV news channel reports (21.11.11, online) that two Turkish citizens were wounded when gunmen opened fire on a convoy of Turkish buses carrying pilgrims in northern Syria, when the driver had mistaken the road and tried to ask for directions at a check point. NTV said the driver of one of the three buses and a pilgrim were wounded in the attack and they received treatment in Antakya State Hospital.

    [10] "Abandoning the old paradigm in the Cyprus dispute"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (20.11.11, online) publishes the following article by columnist Ihsan Dagi: "Abandoning an ever-widening scope of Turkish foreign policy, the Cyprus question no longer occupies center stage as it once used to. Yet it is still likely to emerge as an important issue in the coming year. Two imminent developments make this inevitable: The first is the upcoming rotating presidency of the European Council by the 'Republic of Cyprus' and the second is the exploration of natural resources around the island.

    Perhaps it is in response to these that negotiations seemed to have been sped up. The last round of negotiations among parties in New York at the end of last month was deemed positive and productive. Thus they have raised expectations. However, there are still delicate issues to agree upon before an agreement is reached.

    Yet even if an agreement is reached between Turkish and Greek political leaders on the island, the people of both sides, who are still skeptical, will still have the final world. The referendum in 2004 proved that public opinion does matter. Unless each community is fully prepared to live together with risks and opportunities, their political leaders cannot resolve the dispute among themselves. It is not an issue to address at the top but requires engaging the people at the grass roots.

    Hopefully there will be new initiatives taken up by nongovernmental actors in Cyprus to bring members of the two communities together with a common agenda. One such new civic initiative is the Cyprus Academic Dialogue (CAD) established by Turkish and Greek Cypriots to work towards preparing the public, pressuring governments and coming up with concrete suggestions on controversial issues.

    This unique group organized a workshop this weekend in Istanbul bringing academics, journalists and writers from both sides of Cyprus and Turkey together. For the first time Cypriot Greeks and Turks, as academics and intellectuals, worked together to agree upon a joint statement in which the main parameters of a solution were outlined. This is, I think, a historic initiative. Civil society on both sides of the island is taking the matter (that is, in fact their common future) into their own hands.

    Such initiatives are important because they come from the people, the ultimate source of legitimacy and sovereignty. We know that even if an agreement is reached at the political level, it has to be sold to the public. Therefore, CAD's efforts are paving the way to build a 'common vision' for the island by engaging in a constructive and courageous search for alternatives in settling the dispute on the island.

    We know that their task is really difficult. This is because finding a solution on the island requires abandoning the old paradigm of the 'national idea' that still prevails on both sides. I do not blame them for this. Given that the history of the conflict on the island and looking at the experiences of mainland Turkey and Greece, the idea of living together with the principle of political equality in an ethnically and religiously diverse state seems very difficult to 'imagine.' In fact the modern history of Turkey and Greece is the history of a quest to create a 'nation state' with ethnic and religious homogeneity.

    I think we, Turks and Greeks, are the victims of our 'nation states,' imagined as survival units necessitating subordination and, if possible, the elimination of ethnic and religious diversities. The result is that we, Greeks and Turks on the mainland and on the island, have forgotten how to live and share with the 'other.'

    Now we are asking Cypriots to forget this 'national idea' and form a 'federal state.' This totally goes against our experiences. The islanders have the memory of a short-lived experiment in the early 1960s that only vindicated their separate 'national ideas.'

    My point is that it is really challenging to get out of this old but comfortable paradigm and go for a 'post-national state.' It is not easy to materialize such a mental transformation.

    Are the people of Cyprus prepared to live together even in a bi-communal and bi-zonal community? I am not sure. I think people are anxious. The issues of returnees, the rotating presidency, cross-voting, etc., are all related to this anxiety.

    The root of the anxiety is that this 'federal' model goes against the notion of 'good' and 'ideal state,' as we have grown to learn in our separate 'national idea.'

    I think Cypriots also feel that they are going against the current. As the world gets ever more fragmented along ethnic lines and witnesses the emergence of new nation states, they are asked to become united and forget about their national ideas.

    Well, this sense of going against the current makes a united federal Cyprus even more worthwhile. Cypriots, who once achieved this, may set a new example and trend with a moral high ground. It is a relief to see that there are people on both sides of Cyprus who defend a 'post-national' united state as a way out of the deadlock." TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    /EG


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