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Cyprus PIO: Turkish Cypriot and Turkish Media Review, 11-12-30

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. 248/11 30.12.11 C O N T E N T S

  • [01] Eroglu describes as "nonsense" President Christofias' statement that the Turkish Cypriots have also rights on Cyprus's natural gas
  • [02] Hasipoglu argues that the description "end game" was not casual
  • [03] Ozgurgun: "I do not think that the UN will withdraw and say 'do whatever you want''
  • [04] Turkish bank decides to accept for mortgage occupied Greek Cypriot properties granted to Turkish Cypriots as "property of equivalent value"
  • [05] Environmental organizations raise their voice against Akkuyu nuclear power plant
  • [06] Accused of heroin trafficking was allowed to enter the occupied area of Cyprus
  • [07] "Reactions for the oil depots grow"
  • [08] Turkish military air strike kills 35 people in the southeastern province of Sirnak; AKP official speaks of an 'operational mistake'
  • [09] "Another lost year in Turkey-EU relations"
  • [10] Strong reaction by Turkey's opposition parties to Zana's statements over the Kurdish issue TURKISH CYPRIOT / TURKISH PRESS Eroglu's comment on the announcement made by President Christofias regarding the natural gas reserves found in the Republic of Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone, Hasipoglu's allegation that the train for a solution in Cyprus ran away during the Annan Plan period, Ozgurgun's statement that the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem will continue during Cyprus's EU term presidency, reactions to the building of a nuclear power plant in Turkey's area of Akkuyu, the decision of Turkey's Garanti Bank to accept as mortgage properties granted to Turkish Cypriots in the occupied area of the island as "property of equivalent value" for their property in the government-controlled area, and other internal matters are the main topics covered by the Turkish Cypriot press today. The papers refer also to the decision of the "ministry" of interior to lift the prohibition of entry to the occupied area of Cyprus for Ismet Felek, who had been convicted in Turkey for drug trafficking. The Turkish press reports today on an air strike which killed 35 villagers in a south-eastern province of the country, an action which was described as "operational mistake" by the Turkish government. The press reports also on reactions regarding this incident. Moreover, the papers publish statements by the Turkish Energy Minister Taner Y1ld1z, who said that Ankara scored "a serious discount" on Russian natural gas after agreeing to allow Moscow to build a pipeline through Turkish waters. Finally, the papers report on the decision of the Turkish President Abdullah Gul to partially veto a bill increasing lawmakers' pensions on the grounds that the rise damaged public sensitivities.

  • [01] Eroglu describes as "nonsense" President Christofias' statement that the Turkish Cypriots have also rights on Cyprus's natural gas

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (30.12.11) reports that the Turkish Cypriot leader, Dervis Eroglu has described as "nonsense" the statement made the day before yesterday by President Christofias that the Turkish Cypriots have also rights on the natural gas found in the Republic of Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

    Responding to a question of illegal Bayrak television yesterday, Eroglu alleged: "When I told him [Tr. Note: President Christofias] 'come and let us discuss how we will share this' [natural gas], I received no reply. Therefore, what he said is empty words, it is nonsense".

    Eroglu said that both communities promised to the UN Secretary-General to focus on the negotiations for finding a solution to the Cyprus problem and went on accusing President Christofias of misleading the Greek Cypriot community by putting forward things such as the natural gas, instead of preparing it for the solution.

    Eroglu noted that the natural resources belong to the Turkish Cypriots as well and argued that the way of sharing these resources should be determined "based on the will of the two sides".

    Eroglu alleged the following: "If you tell to the Greek Cypriot community, which in 2004 was not ready to share its power and wealth with us, that it suddenly became very rich today, it might not want to do this at all. It should be said that this wealth will be used for being an incentive for the solution or only if there is a solution these resources will be used for the solution or if these resources are used without a solution it should be said that they will be used with the will of the two sides not unilaterally".

    Eroglu reiterated the allegation that the accession of Cyprus into the EU played important role in the rejection of the Annan Plan by the Greek Cypriot community in 2004 and claimed that if the Greek Cypriots are given the possibility of using this wealth even before the solution, "it will be naivety" to expect the Greek Cypriot side to behave with flexibility.

    Eroglu alleged that President Christofias thought that he made a gesture by reportedly referring to the transfer of these resources [to Europe] through Turkey, but the transfer of natural gas through Turkey will actually be a gesture by this country.

    Eroglu claimed that some persons in the Greek Cypriot side try to secure political benefits investing on the hopes created by the natural gas.

    (I/Ts.)

    [02] Hasipoglu argues that the description "end game" was not casual

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (30.12.11) reports that the Ertugrul Hasipoglu, general secretary of the National Unity Party (UBP), has argued that nothing will happen anymore in the ongoing Cyprus negotiations, given that the train in Cyprus ran away during the Annan Plan period.

    Evaluating the course of the negotiations in 2011, Hasipoglu said yesterday that after the tripartite summit in January, it will be clarified what the efforts for a solution will bring in 2012. He argued that the "end game" description was not said casually.

    Hasipoglu said that in the "new period" Britain started sounding the ground for the debate of resolution 186 endorsed by the UN Security Council in 1964 and added that in case this resolution is cancelled the decisions taken after this should be debated.

    (I/Ts.)

    [03] Ozgurgun: "I do not think that the UN will withdraw and say 'do whatever you want'''

    Turkish Cypriot daily Gunes (30.12.11) reports that the Huseyin Ozgrugun, self-styled minister of foreign affairs of the breakaway regime in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has argued that 2012 will pass with the "delaying tactics" of the Greek Cypriots at the Cyprus negotiations due to the Republic of Cyprus's EU term presidency. Addressing the last meeting of the "assembly" for 2011 yesterday, Ozgurgun claimed that 2013 will also pass with the presidential elections in the Republic of Cyprus, and alleged: "I wish I am wrong and the Greek Cypriots to see that they need the agreement at least as much as we do".

    Asked by an "MP" of the Republican Turkish Party about his predictions for June 2012, Ozgrugun said that the negotiations will continue during Cyprus's EU term presidency as well. "I do not think that the UN will say 'I withdrew, do whatever you like'", he noted adding that everybody should support the process.

    Ozgrugun expressed the view that "the light at the negotiating table will be strengthened by the bloom of the cooperation of the political parties in the north and the south", as he said, referring to the political parties in occupied and government-controlled area of the island.

    Ozgrugun argued that from time to time Archbishop Chrysostomos II makes statements which put President Christofias in a difficult position.

    (I/Ts.)

    [04] Turkish bank decides to accept for mortgage occupied Greek Cypriot properties granted to Turkish Cypriots as "property of equivalent value"

    Turkish Cypriot daily Haberdar (30.12.11) reports that the Turkish Garanti Bankasi (Garanti Bank), which operates in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus, has decided to accept for mortgage [occupied Greek Cypriot] properties granted to Turkish Cypriots in the occupied area of the island as "property of equivalent value" for property they abandoned in the government-controlled area of the island.

    The paper publishes statements by the director of Garanti Bank in the occupied area of Cyprus, Mahmut Karimis, who told Haberdar that Garanti is the first bank which accepts this and added that this decision is very important both politically and economically. He also stated that with this development, the economy of the occupation regime will gain acceleration. He said they took this decision in consultation with the so-called embassy of Turkey to the occupied part of Lefkosia, some Turkish Cypriot politicians, the "central bank" and some other banks.

    Karimis noted that Garanti Bank is partner with the Spanish Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria S.A. (B.B.V.A.) Bank and argued that the Spanish members of the administrative board did not object to this decision.

    In addition, commenting on the issue, self-styled prime minister Irsen Kucuk stated that the decision taken by Garanti Bank is a natural and pleasing decision and added that this should be taken as an example for the other Turkish banks in the occupied areas of the island. He went on and added that this decision will be helpful for the economy of the breakaway regime in year 2012.

    [05] Environmental organizations raise their voice against Akkuyu nuclear power plant

    Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (30.12.11) reports on statements by various environmental groups and organizations in the occupied area of Cyprus, which oppose to the construction of a nuclear power plant in Akkuyu, Turkey. Dogan Sahir, chairman of the Green Peace movement, noted that they are ready to take action and react. He said: "In case of any accident that could happen in a nuclear plant, we will face irreversible damage. Because of this and since in our country there is not enough awareness about the environment, getting into action, showing the necessary reaction to the necessary places is of vital importance."

    Mesut Gunsev, chairman of the "North Cyprus Clean Seas Association" described a nuclear power plant as a double-edged sword and said that scientists and the politicians must be very careful on this matter and take the most correct decision.

    Hasan Sarpten, chairman of the "Cyprus Turkish Biologists Nature Research and Protection Association", recalled that after the Fukusima accident, even leading counties in the nuclear sector, like Germany, started to take steps backwards (on the issue of nuclear energy). He said that he is sad to see Turkey's and AKP government's behaviour, which does not take into consideration the environment. He said that a nuclear plant constitutes an even greater danger for Cyprus.

    Nilden Bektas, chairman of the "Environmental Engineers Chamber", argued that due to the by-products of a reactor, the nuclear waste zones that are created constitute a constant radiation threat to a country and its neighbouring countries. He also said that although nuclear power plants have low environmental impact compared to other sources of energy, in case they work perfectly, in case of accidents the consequences are far more serious, violent, wide-spread and long-lasting.

    The paper also reports on statements of Baran Bozoglu, chairman of the Turkish Environmental Engineers Chamber. Asked over the phone to comment on the construction of Akkuyu power plant and its consequences for Cyprus, Bozoglu said that exactly at this point, Cypriots must react, become owners of their own seas and land, express their wish to not live under the threat of cancer and strengthen the fight given against the construction of the nuclear power plant. He also noted that such actions will add more meaning to the struggle against the nuclear power plant in Turkey and show that all people are affected by Turkey's and other regional countries' energy policies.

    [06] Accused of heroin trafficking was allowed to enter the occupied area of Cyprus Turkish Cypriot daily Afrika (30.12.11) reports that Ismet Felek, who had allegedly used the occupied area of Cyprus as a base for various criminal activities and who was arrested for heroin smuggling and sent to Turkey for his criminal actions, returned to occupied Cyprus as soon as he got out of prison, despite the fact that entering the occupied area of Cyprus was forbidden for him.

    The paper writes that Felek was also accused for the attacks against Afrika's headquarters.

    According to the paper, the prohibition against Felek was not lifted by the "council of ministers" or by a "court" decision, but with the signature of the self-styled minister of internal affairs, Nazim Cavusoglu and with the influence of circles close to the National Unity Party (UBP).

    Citing information, the paper writes that Felek arrived yesterday at the illegal Tymvou airport and was received with excitement by his friends.

    Afrika goes on and writes that while permission was granted to Felek to enter the occupied area of Cyprus, four Kurdish students, who had been deported after protesting for the death of 24 Kurds in Turkey, are still not allowed to enter the occupied area of Cyprus to continue their studies at illegal Near East University (YDU).

    [07] "Reactions for the oil depots grow"

    Under the above title, Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen (30.12.11) reports that a platform under the name "No to the establishment of an oil depot site in Eptakomi" has been established in the occupied area of the Republic of Cyprus. Dogan Sahir, chairman of the Green Peace movement in occupied Cyprus issued a written statement yesterday, announcing that, a meeting took place at the Sport Club of occupied Eptakomi village with the participation of inhabitants of occupied Eptakomi, Komi Kepir, Kridia, Davlos, Platanissos, Akanthou and Galatia villages. The participants in the meeting decided the establishment of the above-mentioned platform.

    A steering committee has also been formed, consisting of representatives from these villages. Ismail Cemal, the representative of Akanthou, will act as spokesperson of the platform. The statement also said that the platform will act in solidarity with other environmental organizations and according to an action plan in order to achieve their objectives.

    [08] Turkish military air strike kills 35 people in the southeastern province of Sirnak; AKP official speaks of an 'operational mistake'

    Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (30.12.11) reported that thirty-five villagers were killed and another was injured in a Turkish military air raid along the Iraqi border on the night of December 28 in what a senior ruling party member declared "an operational fault."

    Dogan news agency reported yesterday that the assault, which utilized F-16s and unmanned aerial vehicles, was conducted near the Ortasu village of Uludere in the south-eastern province of S1rnak.

    In statements on the issue, Huseyin Celik, the deputy chairman of the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) told reporters yesterday in Ankara after a meeting of the party management that the raid was "an operational mistake" and the ensuing investigation will determine those responsible.

    "According to initial information, those [killed] people were not terrorists but smugglers. The operation was carried out on the presumption that they were PKK [Kurdistan Workers' Party] terrorists. It was not intentional. Unfortunately, it was an operational mistake," Celik said, adding that the ultimate conclusion would be reached once the investigation was complete.

    Celik conveyed the AKP's "sorrow" to the victims' families and added: "Turkey is a state based on the rule of law. If it turns out that any fault or any deficiency was involved, all what the rule of law requires will be done," he said.

    Celik said Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan had briefed his aides on the issue during the meeting on the basis of talks with the chief of the General Staff, the interior minister and local officials in S1rnak. "This unfortunate incident will not hamper Turkey's struggle against terrorism. The struggle will continue until this evil is finished off," he said.

    Meanwhile, the General Staff in a written statement posted on its website yesterday said that the cross-border air raid was launched to target the PKK following intelligence that "terrorist" groups had gathered in preparation for attacks on military outposts and bases at the border.

    The bodies of 32 people killed in the air strike were first brought to Ortasu village by their relatives and later taken to Uludere for autopsies. Three bodies kept in ^1rnak State Hospital, where one injured villager is under treatment, were also to be sent to Uludere.

    Uludere Mayor, Fehmi Yanan said the bodies had severe burn wounds, indicating "proof that they were killed by bombs from F-16 fighter jets."

    Dogan news agency said the victims included village guards and students and that 28 of the 35 victims were from the same family.

    [09] "Another lost year in Turkey-EU relations"

    Under the above title, Turkish daily Today's Zaman (29.12.11) publishes an analysis by its correspondent Selcuk Gultasl1, who evaluates the progress in Turkey's EU ties during 2011 and makes predictions on what will follow next year. The columnist writes, inter alia, the following in his article:

    "Turkey and the European Union are concluding a fruitless year as 2011 has been a period where no chapters have been opened, the talks on Cyprus have gone nowhere and the economic crisis stemming from the common currency has deepened, thus putting Turkey and Turkey-related issues on the back burner.

    The last days of the year have also witnessed a heated exchange of words between Turkey and France on the controversial French law to penalize those who deny that the events of 1915 constituted 'genocide'. The French National Assembly has already approved the draft, sending it to the Senate, where it is expected to be voted before February 22, when both the Senate and National Assembly will go into recess for the upcoming presidential and general elections in May and June. The exchanges of words and Turkey's measures in the aftermath have made people both in Turkey and Europe more pessimistic on the fate of Turkey-EU relations.

    While Turkey and EU relations have almost ground to a halt, Croatia -- a country which started the accession talks on exactly the same day as Turkey, Oct. 3, 2005 -- has already penned the Accession Treaty, opening the way for membership in the middle of 2013.

    If I were to make a prediction on what will happen next year, barring a miraculous change in European politics, in France and Germany in particular, it would not be good news. Another miracle would be a very surprising breakthrough in the Cyprus talks, paving the way for the opening of many chapters that have been frozen since 2006.

    Poland, a country that supports Turkish accession, is about to close its term presidency without having opened a single negotiating chapter, for the third consecutive six-month rotating presidency. The accession talks are effectively dead, thanks to the Greek Cypriots' veto of 14 chapters and French President Nicolas Sarkozy's unilateral blocking of five chapters. One should also mention the lack of enthusiasm on the part of Turkey's 'friends' to create a new momentum in talks, as almost every country is obsessed with the economic crisis. Europe's political landscape, which has strongly shifted in the direction of Christian Democratic and right-wing parties that are either outright against Turkish membership or lukewarm at best, also does not help.

    The escalating tension in the eastern Mediterranean over oil and natural gas exploration rights between Turkey and the Greek Cypriots, and the EU's unequivocal support for the latter, does not bode well for unification talks carried out under the auspices of the UN.

    In the last six years since the talks started, Turkey has been able only to temporarily close one chapter out of 35. So far, only 13 chapters have been opened, and talks on 12 of them continue because of the EU decision back in 2006, which stipulates that chapters would not be closed until Turkey approves and applies the Additional Protocol, allowing Greek Cypriot vessels and airplanes into Turkish ports.

    Because of the vetoes of several countries, only three chapters have been left ready to be opened, but these chapters are the most difficult ones, usually opened by the candidates when their membership prospect becomes a certainty. These three chapters are social policy and employment, public procurement and competition.

    While the Croats, who started the accession talks on the same day as Turkey, will be the 28th member of the club on July 1, 2013, a pessimist could easily say at the current pace of negotiations -- closing one chapter in six years -- Turkey's process will take at least a century".

    Referring to the economic crisis in Europe, Selcuk Gultasl1 argues that due to the fact that Turkey's economy got stronger, this makes Turkey stronger vis-a vis Europe. He, however, admits that a deepening economic crisis in Europe would lead to economic uncertainties for the Turkish economy, since Turkey makes 50 percent of its trade with the EU, 80 percent of its foreign direct investment (FDI) comes from Europe and 70 percent of her tourism revenue arrives with European tourists.

    Referring to the Arab Spring, the columnist supports that it has offered some sort of appeasement for Europe and has presented a new area of cooperation between the two.

    Regarding the approval of the Armenian bill by the French Parliament, the columnist says that it caused a bitter dispute between Turkey and France. He continues arguing that the bill seems to be an "electoral coup" for Sarkozy to win the elections next May. This, according to Selcuk Gultasl1, not only would affect Turkish-French relations but also Turkey-EU talks will suffer a huge blow.

    The columnist goes on by predicting that 2012 will be a year of crisis between Turkey and the EU. "One very good game-changer could come from the talks between Turkish and Greek Cypriots. A deal, which observers think unlikely, could help a lot", he concludes.

    [10] Strong reaction by Turkey's opposition parties to Zana's statements over the Kurdish issue

    Turkish daily Istanbul Hurriyet Daily news online in English (29.12.11) reported that figures from the opposition parties in Turkey have harshly reacted to Kurdish politician Leyla Zana's comments, in which she suggested a Quebec model future for Kurds living in Turkey.

    Leyla Zana, a Kurdish politician from the Peace and Democracy Party (BDP), was quoted as saying Turkey ought to hold a referendum on self-determination for its Kurds, who will no longer be content merely with settling for autonomy.

    In response, Oktay Vural from the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) said it was Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc who paved the way for Zana's words.

    Reminding journalists of Arinc's remarks regarding meeting Kurdish people's demands on language and identity, Vural said Arinc and Zana aimed at creating "ethnic polarizations". "Both of them have the same mentality but should know their limits. This is not a geography that was created so easily. They are trying to divide this country", he argued.

    Muharrem Ince from the Republican People's Party (CHP) also reacted harshly to Zana's statement, saying Turkey was established after big wars and if they want to change it, they should pay the price.

    Meanwhile, the BDP reportedly announced Zana's views do not reflect those of the party and are purely her own opinions. TURKISH AFFAIRS SECTION http://www.moi.gov.cy/pio

    EG/


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