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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-12-27

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. 245/11 24-27.12.11 C O N T E N T S

[A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

  • [01] Eroglu reiterates the allegation that two peoples, two states, two religions and two nations exist in Cyprus
  • [02] Eroglu alleges that the Republic of Cyprus should not overtake the EU term presidency
  • [03] Eroglu argued that the New York summit is the "last chance" for the solution of the Cyprus problem
  • [04] Eroglu reiterates that Turkey's guarantees are their "red lines"
  • [05] Eroglu condemned France on Armenian Bill
  • [06] CHP MP argues that the Cyprus problem was solved with the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island
  • [07] Cakici was attacked yesterday while addressing the so-called assembly of the breakaway regime
  • [08] Tortures take place at the "police stations" in the occupied area
  • [09] Mesut Yilmaz reportedly said that Turkish secret agents were behind many forest fires in Greece; Yilmaz denies the reports
  • [10] Gul hopes that France would stop legislative process on Armenian Bill
  • [11] Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemns France over the Armenian Bill
  • [12] Turks all over the world initiated campaign to boycott French products; Turkish Minister Caglayan says French firms still welcome to invest in Turkey
  • [13] Swiss parliament rejects petition for recognition of 1915 as genocide
  • [14] Turkey, Azerbaijan signed deal to build natural gas pipeline
  • [15] Babacan said EU's political norms are of a great importance for Turkey

  • [A] TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS

    Eroglu's various statements, Gulin Kucuk's participation in a conference in Istanbul, continued ceremonies for the "martyrs' week," Ozgurgun's answer to statements made by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Cyprus during her visit to the USA, a documentary about Rauf Denktas, news regarding the amount of tax paid by companies, and other domestic issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press over the 3-day holiday (24-26 December). Today's newspapers focus on tension caused in the "assembly" of the breakaway regime yesterday and on a report that the "police" in the occupied area of Cyprus use torture.

    Statements by the former Turkish Prime Minister Mesut Yilmaz that Turkish secret agents were behind many forest fires in Greece when Tansu Ciller was in power in Turkey, Turkish reactions on the adoption of a resolution in France that criminalizes the rejection of the Armenian genocide by Ottoman Turks, reports about an agreement signed between Turkey and Azerbaijan for the construction of a natural gas pipeline, and other domestic issues are the main topics covered by the Turkish press between 24 and 27 December.

    [01] Eroglu reiterates the allegation that two peoples, two states, two religions and two nations exist in Cyprus

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (26.12.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has reiterated the allegation that two separate peoples, two separate states, two separate nations and two separate religions exist in Cyprus and claimed that only by starting from this point a solution in Cyprus will be possible.

    Addressing a ceremony in Gaziantep on Sunday on the occasion of the 90th anniversary from the liberation of city, Eroglu said that Cyprus's importance for Turkey is great from the point of view of Turkey's security and strategic interests in the area and the world. He added: "For this reason, some people do not want the Cyprus problem to be solved within the framework of justice. Therefore, with their actions they encourage the Greek Cypriot side in being intransigent, they spoil it. However, the situation is there. Two areas, two peoples, two states, two nations and two separate religions exist in Cyprus. It is possible to reach a result by starting from these realities. I hope that they will come to their senses in 2012 and that we will reach an agreement. However, if this does not happen, we will not surrender; we will not succumb to them. We have our state. Our motherland and the brave people of Anatolia are with us. Neither our motherland will be without Cyprus, nor will we be without our motherland. If we do not agree with the Greek Cypriots, we will continue to advance in our way. We will continue our struggle together with the motherland and we will reach the place we deserve at the international platform?"

    Eroglu said that he takes courage and strength by visiting Anatolia and his belief that no one will be able to spoil their bonds with their brothers in Anatolia.

    Referring to the decision taken by the French Parliament as regards the Armenian genocide, Eroglu described it as "racist approach against the Turkish nation" and argued after this decision his visit to Gaziantep becomes more important for him because this is a city which allegedly knows the French "cruelty" and resisted to the French "occupation".

    Eroglu argued that first the people of Gaziantep gained their freedom walking the road paved by Kemal Ataturk's liberation struggle and then the Turkish Cypriots followed the same path and carried out their own struggle. He claimed that as a result of this struggle the Turkish Cypriots have the guarantee of the Turkish army with the support of Turkey and established their state.

    Eroglu called on the inhabitants of Gaziantep to make investments in the occupied area of Cyprus and spend their vacations here. "Cyprus is a national cause, it is the common cause of the entire Turkish nation", he argued.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Eroglu alleges that the Republic of Cyprus should not overtake the EU term presidency

    Turkish Cypriot daily Bakis (27.12.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu has alleged that the discussion of all the chapters at the Cyprus talks has been concluded, that the negotiations have come to a point of give and take and that they expect to be able to see the end of the process during the forthcoming meeting at Greentree in New York next month.

    Addressing a conference at Gaziantep's Zirve University under the title "The past and the present of the Cyprus negotiations", Eroglu alleged: "There is nothing which has not been discussed, which has not been negotiated. The sides know by heart what each of them says. The time has come now for the solution of the Cyprus problem. Of course, this solution will be a just and lasting agreement. It will have the quality of protecting the rights of the Turkish Cypriots and the Republic of Turkey. The solution will come with a new partnership state. To this end we as Turkish side negotiate with good will".

    Eroglu argued that the Republic of Cyprus should not overtake the EU term presidency in July 2012 and claimed that if this happens, the [Cyprus] problem will further enter into a deadlock and the relations of Turkey with the EU will be influenced negatively.

    Meanwhile, according to Turkish Cypriot daily Volkan (27.12.11), speaking during a reception at Sato Restaurant in Gaziantep, Eroglu argued, inter alia, the following: "We have lived the trauma of a partnership state, we established the 1960 Republic, we were excluded from this Republic after three years and three months, we struggled for 11 years not to fall in the traps laid by the Greek Cypriots, we sacrificed many lives and we were saved with the peace operation [Tr. Note: As he described the 1974 Turkish invasion of Cyprus]".

    Eroglu argued that the Turkish Cypriots have given a similar struggle for freedom with the one of the inhabitants of Gaziantep.

    Eroglu alleged that while the Turks in Cyprus were dying the world was watching and added: "The EU is implementing embargo today on the TRNC. What is our crime? We have established the Republic of Cyprus together, but we are under embargo. Therefore, we have to trust ourselves, we have to trust motherland. I say this often to the young people: the TRNC cannot exist if there is no motherland?"

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Eroglu argued that the New York summit is the "last chance" for the solution of the Cyprus problem

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (24.12.11) reported from occupied Lefkosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu stated on Saturday that the upcoming trilateral summit in New York on January 22-24 would be "the last chance" for Cyprus and the United Nations.

    Speaking to reporters while receiving a delegation from the Municipality of Kepez, Antalya, Eroglu said that he believed there could be a path to an agreement at the New York summit in January. "Whether or not we will reach an agreement is yet to be seen", Eroglu underlined.

    "A strong motherland (Turkey) gives us Turkish Cypriots strength at the negotiation table", Eroglu added.

    [04] Eroglu reiterates that Turkey's guarantees are their "red lines"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (24.12.11) reported that Dervis Eroglu, the Turkish Cypriot leader, said that "Turkey's active and effective guarantee" constitutes a red line for Turkish Cypriots. Replying to a journalist who reminded him of President Christofias' statement that "the Turkish army must withdraw from Cyprus," Eroglu pointed out that in order for this to happen, an agreement must first be reached, but even then Turkish Cypriots will wish for "Turkey's active and effective guarantees." He also said that Turkey's guarantees will continue and added that there is a relative decision taken by the "assembly" of the breakaway regime.

    [05] Eroglu condemned France on Armenian Bill

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.12.11) reported from occupied Lefkosia that the Turkish Cypriot leader Dervis Eroglu said on Friday that it was out of question for them to accept a French resolution that was adopted Thursday "for winning votes" and "pleasing certain circles".

    Speaking to reporters in occupied Lefkosia, Eroglu said that it was a great mistake for the French Parliament to adopt the Armenian resolution by disregarding Turkish-French relations.

    "France acted as if they forgot what they did in Algeria. Their mentality is an outdated one. It is an unacceptable mentality. I believe that the French Senate would act with more reason and rationality", Eroglu argued.

    [06] CHP MP argues that the Cyprus problem was solved with the 1974 Turkish invasion of the island

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (27.12.11) reports on statements by Kamer Genc a Turkish MP with the Republican People's Party (CHP) from the province of Tunceli. Speaking to the newspaper, Genc claimed that "the continued negotiations which have been going on for the past 50 years are not possible to produce a solution from now on" and that "the Cyprus problem has been solved in 1974" [Translator's note: the year when the Turkish army invaded Cyprus].

    "The two communities live as free separate peoples. Now, to unite these two peoples under the same state is an inhuman behaviour and serves the desires of the imperialist forces," alleged Genc who accused the Turkish government of not seeing this reality. He also expressed his belief that "the negotiations will not result in a settlement, because what is being asked is for the two states to abandon their sovereignty, something which is not possible". He alleged that some countries continue the negotiations for their own satisfaction.

    [07] Cakici was attacked yesterday while addressing the so-called assembly of the breakaway regime

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (27.12.11) reports that Mehmet Cakici, chairman of the Social Democracy Party (TDP), held a demonstration yesterday at the podium of the self-styled assembly of the breakaway regime, aiming at preventing the adoption of the "social insurances (amendment) draft-law". According to the paper, Cakici wanted to prevent the passing of the "law" and to break the record of the longest speech at the "assembly", but his speech was interrupted by the "speaker" of the "body", Hasan Bozer and "MPs" of the National Unity Party (UBP).

    The other two "MPs" of the TDP, Mustafa Emiroglulari and Huseyin Angolemli occupied the podium with Cakici, but the "MPs" of the UBP attacked them and forced them to come down. Cakici accused Bozer and the UBP "MPs" of conspiring and organizing an attack plan against him.

    Bozer called for a voting for bringing Cakici down from the podium. When the majority voted in favour of Cakici's stop talking, TDP chairman said: "You have no right to do this. I will not step down from this podium". Afterwards he tried to open a banner saying "The game is over", but UBP "MPs" grabbed the banner from his hands. Consequently a row came out in the room.

    Meanwhile, another protest took place yesterday at the "assembly" against the same "law". Members of trade unions threw in the room their empty wallets.

    (I/Ts.)

    [08] Tortures take place at the "police stations" in the occupied area

    Turkish Cypriot daily Kibrisli (27.12.11) reports that a committee of the self-styled assembly, came up to the conclusion that tortures take place at the "police stations" in the occupied areas of the Republic of Cyprus.

    The committee was established in order to determine if this kind of practices is implemented in the self-styled police stations and came out with the conclusion that tortures are used but not in a systematic and organized way.

    [09] Mesut Yilmaz reportedly said that Turkish secret agents were behind many forest fires in Greece; Yilmaz denies the reports

    Turkish daily Milliyet (27.12.11) reports that great reactions were caused in Greece and deterioration in Turkish-Greek relations was observed after statements by the former Turkish Prime Minister, Mesut Yilmaz that Turkish secret agents were behind many forest fires exploded in Greece when Tansu Ciller was in power in Turkey.

    The paper refers to an interview given by Yilmaz to Turkish daily Birgun on 23rd of December, in which the former prime minister stated that "Forrest burning in Greece was a secret of the state". Referring to the "secret budget" of the Turkish Government, Yilmaz stated that initiatives like a coup d'?tat in Azerbaijan and the burning of the Greek forests were financed by the secret budget of the Turkish state. Replying to a question, Yilmaz said that all premiers, when their tenure is over and their successor comes along, have to inform him/her of how the secret budget was used. "This is what I and my predecessors have done". However, he said, Ciller did not share this information with him.

    (TR. Note: Yilmaz was referring to the period 1995-1997 when Ciller was in power).

    However, Ankara Anatolia news agency (27.12.11) reported that Yilmaz denied reports on forest fire retaliation to Greece.

    Mesut Yilmaz said the stories published in some Tuesday's newspapers were just a misinterpretation.

    Some newspapers quoted Mesut Yilmaz as saying that "Turkey made forest fire retaliation to Greece".

    According to papers, Athens reacted to Yilmaz's remarks and Greek papers wrote stories that "Turkey's National Intelligence Organization (MIT) was behind the forest fires in the Aegean in mid-1990s" and "Prime minister confessed".

    The papers wrote that Turkey should illuminate the incident and compensate Greece's losses. Also, they wrote that Athens would file a lawsuit regarding Yilmaz's remarks that "setting forests on fire in Greece was a state secret."

    Mesut Yilmaz said the stories published in some Tuesday's newspapers were just a misinterpretation.

    "The article is totally distorted", Yilmaz told reporters at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport before flying to the United States.

    Some newspapers published stories regarding Yilmaz's remarks about some state secrets, discretionary funds, a report on a traffic accident that revealed mafia-police-tribe relationship, publicly known as Susurluk scandal, and forest fires.

    "I made the necessary statement to Anadolu Agency this morning, I think Greek friends have been in a hurry to react", he said.

    Yilmaz said what he meant was forest fires in Turkey, and there were some intelligence and assessments that serious forest fires in Turkey in 1990s were linked with Greek secret organization.

    "I said that publishing these allegations before they were proved would be wrong for our relations with Greece, and therefore they should be evaluated within the scope of the state", Yilmaz said.

    "Unfortunately, the issue was totally distorted for sensation purposes", he noted.

    [10] Gul hopes that France would stop legislative process on Armenian Bill

    Ankara Anatolia news agency (23.12.11) reported from Istanbul that the Turkish President Abdullah Gul in statements to reporters in Istanbul on Friday, after the lower house of the French Parliament adopted on Thursday a resolution that criminalizes rejection of Armenian genocide in 1915, expressed the hope that the resolution process in France would not proceed from now on.

    President Abdullah Gul said he hoped France would not go on with the legislative process. "Nobody can express his/her sincere views after this resolution adopted in France, which is publicly known as a country where pluralism and everything was discussed freely," Gul said.

    "Historians cannot make remarks or make public their new findings, i.e. everybody who expresses views other than France's official opinion will be found guilty and punished," Gul said.

    Gul said nobody could believe that this was happening in France because the country was contradicting its own values. "I hope French intellectuals, politicians with common sense and businessmen will see that the resolution in fact contradicts their own values, and will overshadow French democracy, and stop the process," Gul said.

    Gul argued Turkish government and people's reaction was totally legitimate, rightful and a self-defence and added that Turkey would continue to react to the resolution.

    "Turkish-French relations go back to old times, however the current French president has prejudices against Turkey, and these prejudices hit a stroke on Turkish-French relations", Gul alleged.

    Gul said France was one of the three members of the Minsk Group set up to find a solution to Azerbaijani-Armenian dispute and to end instability in the Caucasus. "France should immediately withdraw from mediation in case the resolution is enacted--and I hope it will not", Gul added.

    [11] Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu condemns France over the Armenian Bill

    According to Turkish daily Istanbul Today's Zaman online in English (23.12.11), the general secretary of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, in statements to the Anatolia news agency on Friday on the sidelines of an OIC meeting in Istanbul, criticized strongly a French vote to adopt a bill criminalizing the denial of Armenian genocide claims.

    Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu said France was in a "paradoxical contradiction," championing freedom of expression on the one hand while passing legislation to ban debate on a "claim regarding history." "The OIC rejects this nonsense," Ihsanoglu said adding: "there are three principles at the core of the French Republic: liberty, equality and fraternity. To me, this legislation inflicts harm on at least two of them."

    Ihsanoglu also lambasted what he called an "unacceptable contradiction" in Europe over freedom of expression, saying caricatures insulting Prophet Muhammad are defended in the name of free speech while such a bill could be enacted in the French parliament.

    [12] Turks all over the world initiated campaign to boycott French products; Turkish Minister Caglayan says French firms still welcome to invest in Turkey

    According to Turkish daily Istanbul Sunday's Zaman Online in English (25.12.11), a civilian-led boycott against French products has begun to extend throughout the country as a bill penalizing denial of the "Armenian genocide" was passed by the French lower house, now awaiting final approval from the senate.

    On top of a series of official measures announced by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan a day after the French parliament approved the bill, large groups of Turks all over the world initiated a campaign to boycott French firms and products to demonstrate their concern over the passage of the bill they consider a jab at a sensitive historical issue.

    Socialist Party lawmakers announced last week that "the bill would be on the senate agenda as soon as possible," as failure to do so would incite Armenian reaction on top of the Turkish boycotts and make things "worse" for France.

    Although Turkish measures announced on Friday did not include any financial boycott against French companies in line with international financial agreements Turkey is bound to honour, Turkish civil society has taken its own initiative to slam France with consequences, as Turkish officials predicted they would ahead of the French vote.

    Although some of the campaigns remained symbolic, such as taking out French football teams from betting games in Turkey, others extend to a level that could cause serious harm to French businesses in Turkey, much like in 2001 when France saw its export rate to Turkey drop by 40 percent following senate's recognition of the 1915 genocide. Relations with France were repaired in the long run, specifically after the withdrawal of a similar denial bill from the senate agenda in 2006.

    Disappointed by the French move, Turks all over the world exchange lists of products allegedly made or marketed by French companies to block their purchase in protest of the bill's approval. However, some of the lists circulating on the Internet through social networks contain companies and products that have no connections to France, highlighting the possibility that the current storm of reactions would provide people with suitable tools to mislead the boycott with other motives.

    On the other hand, the French bill did not affect the holiday plans of Turks who were planning to visit Paris for New Year's, the Anatolia news agency reported on Sunday.

    Meanwhile, Istanbul Sunday's Zaman Online in English (25.12.11) reported that Turkey's Economy Minister Zafer Caglayan said in Riyadh on Sunday that the French companies seeking to invest in the Turkish economy, are still welcome to do so, despite the strained ties between Turkey and France over a bill approved last week by the French National Assembly, aiming to penalize the denial of the Armenian genocide.

    "They earn a place on the top of our head if they want to come to Turkey," Caglayan said, recalling a famous Turkish saying that refers to the generous Turkish hospitality shown to guests. "We have a very liberal economy and we believe in free trade," Caglayan told a group of reporters travelling with him on a business trip to Saudi Arabia.

    He also gave assurances to some 1,000 French companies who have already invested in Turkey, saying, "As my prime minister has said, if a foreign company invests, it trusts our economy, [and] it will 'earn a place on the top of our head'" adding that "French companies are no different than companies from any other nation."

    Caglayan warned, however, that there will be a public outcry over the bill in Turkey and that the pressure on the government to retaliate will mount. "I understand the public's frustration as I feel the same. This [bill] is totally unreserved and uncalled for. It is plain simple populism to cater to the domestic electorate. I hope it does not impact on our economic ties," he said.

    Turkey received $600 million in foreign direct investment (FDI) in October, the bulk of it from EU member states, including France. The October performance of the economy brought the total amount of FDI the country attracted in the first 10 months of this year to $11.5 billion, 82 percent more than during the same period a year ago. Turkey received only $6.3 billion in FDI in the January-October period of 2010.

    Caglayan emphasized that 86 percent of all the FDI received in the first 10 months of this year came from European countries. It therefore goes without saying that Turkey has become a safe haven for European investors as they try to park their cash at a time when the EU is having difficulties in finding a lasting solution for the ongoing sovereign debt issues in a number of its member states, including the continent's largest economies such as France, Italy and Spain.

    [13] Swiss parliament rejects petition for recognition of 1915 as genocide

    According to Turkish daily Today's Zaman (26.12.11), the Swiss parliament has rejected a petition asking it to grant genocide status to the killings of Armenians, Assyrians, Chaldeans and a few other ethnic communities in 1915 by Ottoman Turks, on the grounds that "massacres should better be brought to light by historians."

    In response to a petition placed on the agenda of the Swiss national parliament on December 23, the Swiss parliamentary commission on foreign policy ruled that facts surrounding massacres should better be left to historians for analysis, and that the active policy of Switzerland constitutes the best method to answer the call of the petitioners.

    Switzerland does not constitutionally mention any ethnicities or historic events as genocides, but under the Swiss Penal Code, anti-racism has very severe repercussions and may be applied extensively by courts. Justifying genocide is considered a violation of the country's legislation and was applied to Holocaust denial in the previous years.

    A Turkish politician, Dogu Perincek, leader of the Workers' Party (0P), was charged with the same anti-racism law in 2007 when he uttered publicly in Lausanne that he was not denying the "Armenian genocide" because there was no genocide, although he agreed that a large number of people in both communities suffered heavy losses in 1915. He received a suspended sentence and a fine of close to $2,500, and his appeal at a Swiss court did not change the results.

    An anti-racism law -- including sentences for denial of genocide -- was adopted in 2003 at the Swiss canton of Vaud, where Perincek made his remarks in protest of the penal code. More than a dozen Turks were prosecuted on such charges a decade ago but were acquitted.

    [14] Turkey, Azerbaijan signed deal to build natural gas pipeline

    According to Ankara Anatolia news agency (26.12.11), the Turkish Energy and Natural Resources Minister Taner Yildiz signed an agreement in Ankara on Monday with his Azeri counterpart Natig Aliyev for the construction of a natural gas pipeline.

    In statements to reporters after penning the agreement with his Azeri counterpart, Taner Yildiz said that a new natural gas pipeline Turkey and Azerbaijan had agreed to build, would be major contribution to efforts to diversify west-bound energy supply routes. Trans Anadolu Natural Gas Pipeline is very important in carrying resources of the East to the West. The agreement is a clear sign that Turkey and Azerbaijan are exerting efforts that countries in the West cannot make".

    Taner said the Trans Anadolu pipeline was not an alternative to other ongoing projects currently under consideration.

    The deal on "Trans Anadolu Natural Gas Pipeline" envisages sale of Azerbaijani natural gas in Turkey as well as in Europe via Turkey.

    Azerbaijan's national oil and gas company SOCAR, Turkey's state-run Petroleum Pipeline Corporation (BOTAS) and Turkish Petroleum Corporation (TPAO) are expected to set up a consortium for the construction of the pipeline. Other international oil and natural gas companies are planned to be allowed to join the consortium.

    The pipeline will carry natural gas from Azerbaijan's Shah Deniz II project.

    [15] Babacan said EU's political norms are of a great importance for Turkey

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (27.12.11) reports that the Deputy Prime Minister Ali Babacan told Turkish ambassadors at a meeting in Ankara yesterday that the European Union may be haunted by financial troubles, but its political norms remain "extremely important" for Turkey, regardless of whether the country will be eventually granted membership.

    "In economic terms, the European Union has nothing left to give as an example or inspiration. The biggest problem of the EU today is that they fail to observe the principles and rules they themselves have set," Babacan argued, adding the following: "But the EU's criteria and norms are still extremely important for Turkey in terms of our domestic political reforms. It is very much in Turkey's interest to keep its [membership] objective firm and advance in that direction, regardless of whether it will eventually become a member or when that will happen. We must never sacrifice our EU accession process to populism."

    "The Turkish economy is resilient to the impact of the EU's financial troubles because of far-reaching reforms Turkey accomplished prior to 2008", Babacan said. "European countries needed similar structural reforms but lack the political determination to go ahead", he added. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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